Acupuncture has been found to be an inexpensive and safe therapy for pain relief in children based on the findings of a Stanford University study. The study confirmed that acupuncture is extremely helpful in chronic pain conditions. Acupuncture has the ability to activate endorphins, dynorphins, and other natural pain killing chemicals within the body that are vital in helping manage pain. The administrators of the study referred to several findings of acupuncture in which the treatment helped relieve post-surgical delirium, acute post-surgical pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), pelvic pain, fibromyalgia, stomach pain, migraines, and headaches.
Acupuncture Treatment for Children
In the above-mentioned study, the findings showed that initially 53% of the children involved in the study were not too comfortable with the acupuncture needles. But after the first needle was inserted into their skin, about 64% of these children stated that they did not feel any pain. They even added that they would recommend the treatment to other people. Sixty four percent of adolescents who participated in the study reported that their acupuncture treatment had been a “pleasant” experience. Seventy percent of them reported lowered levels of pain. This effectiveness is due to acupuncture’s capacity to induce deep relaxation in people coupled with long-term analgesic effects.
The study also revealed that acupuncture can be a very powerful adjunct treatment in the care of children suffering from both acute and chronic painful conditions. The adolescent and child patients experienced vast relief from the administration of acupuncture treatments. The children stated that they found acupuncture “very acceptable.” With regards to safety, the study research confirmed that acupuncture treatment is very safe when it is administered by licensed and well-trained acupuncturists. Some of the licensed acupuncturists practicing their profession in the United States happen to be also licensed medical professionals with medical board oversight in several places of the Union.
The conductors of the study noted that acupuncture lowered the severity and frequency of headaches. Besides that, the needles helped lessen the need for medications and were shown to be effective in the treatment of migraines. The conductors of the study referred to a randomized clinical research involving children suffering from migraines who found that acupuncture effectively lessened the frequency and magnitude of migraines. Another study that involved the application of cold laser acupuncture in children with tension headaches and migraines showed that the treatment lessened the severity and frequency of their condition.
In the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the study’s conductors referred to other studies that showed acupuncture’s potency in treating IBS. A trial study examining the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture compared to antispasmodics revealed that acupuncture was much more effective than conventional modalities for IBS. A children’s research demonstrated acupuncture’s ability to treat intermittent stomach pain. Noting the high incidence of stomach pain in children, the researchers advised that more studies be done to investigate the duration, frequency, or dose of required acupuncture treatment .
Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
Although no randomized contrail trial for acupuncture treatment of fibromyalgia in children is available, past adult studies confirmed that when combined with conventional care, acupuncture clearly produced much better results than conventional treatment alone. Furthermore, acupuncture was able to modify cortical reactions to painful stimuli in patients with fibromyalgia, implying an intricate inhibitory modulation may be occurring in the central nervous system in a fibromyalgia condition. A similar conclusion was also reached in children/adolescent arthritis cases. There are no studies done available for children although adult studies have shown that acupuncture worked successfully osteoarthritis treatment. For arthritis and fibromyalgia, the research team suggests specific tests on acupuncture’s effects on child patients.
Studies conducted on children revealed the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating pelvic pain. Adolescents suffering from dysmenorrhea (pain and menstrual cramping) experienced relief of their symptoms after being treated with acupuncture. The subjects stated that acupuncture was just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Another adolescent study this time about endometriosis-induced pelvic pain reveals that acupuncture worked in the lessening of the pain after half a year of treatments.
Acute Pain, Cancer, and CRPS
It was noted in a pediatric study involving patients 7 months to 18 years of age that acupuncture provided them with long-lasting and significant relief of their postsurgical pain. Similar studies also validated acupuncture’s ability to lessen postsurgical agitation, pain, and delirium in child and adolescent patients.
Both a pediatric study and adult studies revealed acupuncture’s clinical potency for the treatment of CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). In Germany, scientists have discovered that 36% of adolescents and 29% of young children utilize acupuncture. Certain studies demonstrated that acupuncture was effective in lessening vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy along with a lessened requirement for anti-emetic drugs.
Acupuncture was also seen to be a cost effective treatment for painful conditions. A UK study observed the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating lower back pain in Maitland. It was a randomized clinical investigation that showed that when acupuncture was included in conventional treatment, it led to a marked and immediate improvement of the pain. It was seen that expenditure in treating the condition rose when acupuncture was incorporated into the treatment, nevertheless, it more than made up for the shortening of lost days of work, and lowered medical costs in other aspects including that of doctor, hospitalization, and other outpatient visit costs.
This article then showed that acupuncture can be a very vital adjunct therapy when it comes to treating chronic pain among pediatric patients. The evidence shows that it is a cost effective and very safe therapy for pediatric pain, as well.