By Junnila SY
A 5-year trial of acupuncture therapy in the Finnish NHS is surveyed.
In total 348 patients attending Halikko Health Centre in SW Finland
were treated with needle-stimulation for a wide variety of chronic pain
syndromes. The mean number of acupuncture sessions was 5 in the primary
series and 41% of patients received more than one series.
of results showed significant relief of pain (more than 40% reduction
on the visual analogue scale) in myofascial syndromes affecting the
head, neck, shoulder and arm. Osteoarthrosis of major joints, and
backache, responded less favourably. In total 65% of those patients who
had taken analgesics before acupuncture therapy, either stopped totally
or reduced their dose considerably. Those with headache could
significantly more often reduce their drug intake than those with
arthritis or osteoarthrosis.