Acupuncture may be a safe and effective treatment for gouty arthritis, researchers reveal

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acupuncture, gouty arthritis, gout, complementary medicine, arthritis treatmentAcupuncture is an effective and safe therapy for people with gouty arthritis, says research in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. But the poor quality of studies means that better trials are needed to confirm the findings.

Experts looked at 28 trials involving 2,237 people with gouty arthritis. Compared with conventional pharmacological treatments, acupuncture was more effective in rendering people free from symptoms after 24 hours, lowering serum urate, reducing pain, and decreasing erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESR). But acupuncture made no difference to C-reactive protein levels.

Frequency of adverse events in people receiving acupuncture was found to be lower than that in control group.

“Based on the findings of our study, we cautiously suggest that acupuncture is an effective and safe therapy for patients with gouty arthritis,” the researchers say. “However, the potential beneficial effect of acupuncture might be overstated due to the methodological deficiency of included studies. High quality randomised controlled trials with larger scale are encouraged.”

Click here to read the original research.

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