Burning nerves with needles in back pain – stop the burning, just use the needles!

  This piece has also been stimulated by a publication in JAMA, this time evaluating the use of denervation of joints in spinal pain.[1] It is a set of three large (n=251, n=228, n=202), probably definitive, pragmatic trials that evaluate the use of radiofrequency denervation (RFD) as an addition to a 3 month standardised exercise […]

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Why not needles for OA – no steroid, just the needles!

  This piece has been stimulated by a recent publication in JAMA evaluating the use of regular intra-articular corticosteroid injections for symptom management and cartilage volume in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.[1] Previous research had suggested that the inflammatory process in the knee was associated with both pain and progression of cartilage loss, however, this […]

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Acupuncture for infantile colic – misdirection in the media or over-reaction from a sceptic blogger?

  So there has been a big response to this paper press released by BMJ on behalf of the journal Acupuncture in Medicine. The response has been influenced by the usual characters – retired professors who are professional bloggers and vocal critics of anything in the realm of complementary medicine. They thrive on flexing their […]

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Quality sham – there appears to be a significantly greater improvement in health related quality of life (HRQoL) with sham acupuncture than with conventional care

Comments stimulated by: Saramago et al. BMC Med Res Methodol 2016 This week a new finding in the acupuncture field was published in rather unlikely journal. BMC Medical Research Methodology is one of the Biomed Central range of open access online journals, and the paper principally describes a new method within network meta-analysis for analyzing data […]

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Breathless…

…a career-defining symptom?   The Filshie files – breathlessness Jacky Filshie (JF) has devoted a medical career to symptom management in the cancer suffering population. Her early personal experience of acupuncture needling had a significant impression on her, probably because she happened to have the right genetic complement to maximise the central effects of the […]

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Musings on heterogeneity in quantitative outcomes of acupuncture trials in LBP

Further commentary: Low back pain and sciatica: management of non-specific low back pain and sciatica Draft clinical guideline February 2016 This commentary follows a previous blog post. Late last Friday night I got around to dropping the pain VAS outcome figures from the trials of acupuncture versus sham into RevMan 5 – the software used for […]

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Exercise not acupuncture recommended by NICE for low back pain – balanced assessment, bias or error?

Commentary: Low back pain and sciatica: management of non-specific low back pain and sciatica Draft clinical guideline February 2016 NICE clinical guidelines are very large pieces of work. This draft runs to over 1000 pages with the addition of around 2500 pages of appendices, and data extracted and analysed from nearly 600 RCTs. Having sat on […]

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