Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Y. D. Kwon, M. H. Pittler,  and E. Ernst

The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in peripheral joint osteoarthritis (OA).  Thirty-one possibly relevant studies were identified and 18 RCTs were included. Ten trials tested manual acupuncture and eight trials tested electro-acupuncture. Overall, ten studies demonstrated greater pain reduction in acupuncture groups compared with controls. The authors conlude that sham-controlled RCTs suggest specific effects of acupuncture for pain control in patients with peripheral joint OA. Considering its favourable safety profile acupuncture seems an option worthy of consideration particularly for knee OA. Further studies are required particularly for manual or electro-acupuncture in hip OA.

Rheumatology Advance Access published online on August 27, 2006

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