There has a great deal of research into treatment of musculo-skeletal problems such as : back-ache, neckpain, knee pain, Frozen Shoulder, Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, RSI (repetitive strain injury) and other joint pain or arthritis.
The list of links below will take you to some of the articles based on research evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture:
Acupuncture Relieves Knee Pain - According to the National Institutes of Health, more than four million people seek medical care for a knee problem each year.1 A leading cause of chronic knee pain, particularly in young adults, is patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).
Acupuncture Relieves Pain and Improves Function in Knee Osteoarthritis – another study highlighting the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating knee pain.
NHS to promote acupuncture for back pain – An article reporting that due to recent studies doctors may start recommending acupuncture for back pain.
Acupuncture and Frozen Shoulder – “The study, published in the Hong Kong Medical Journal, found that patients treated with acupuncture and exercise demonstrated "significantly greater improvement" on shoulder assessment tests than those using just exercise, and suggests that acupuncture could be useful in cases where more conventional therapies have been unsuccessful.”
As with all medical studies (into drugs or acupuncture) it must be pointed out that science gathers evidence objectively and many studies are needed before a treatment can be said to be ‘substantiated’. The very nature of acupuncture makes objective investigation difficult and does invite the criticism that the placebo effect may be responsible for success.
Recently questions have been asked about the validity of this criticism. If the placebo effect is effective – how can we harness it? Unfortunately for drug companies it is difficult to justify selling placebos!
Sometime alongside acupuncture other approaches are used to bring relief. These include cupping (shown here), moxibustion, Gua Sha, heat lamp treatment and Electro-acupuncture.