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More and more studies show that controlling patients' pain and getting them moving after a total knee replacement (TKR) gives the best results. Doctors are looking for ways to do this. Managing patient's pain in the first 24 hours after surgery seems to be an important key. Better pain control is gained by giving the patient general anesthesia along with a local nerve block at the time of surgery. One of the nerves often blocked is the femoral nerve, which forms from nerve roots in the low back and runs down the front of the thigh. Blocks are also done to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a major nerve that goes down the back of the thigh to the lower leg and foot. This study compared a femoral nerve block alone to a "double block" of the femoral nerve and the sciatic nerve. Pain levels and amount of opiate used were measured every four hours for the first 24 hours. The authors found that patients receiving the double blocks used less pain medication after TKR than those getting ju...
Acupuncture is a method of producing analgesia or altering the function of a system of the body by inserting fine, wire-thin needles into the skin on the body along a series of lines, or channels, called meridians. The needles are twirled or energized electrically or warmed. Acupuncture originated in the Far East and has gained increasing attention in the West since the early 1970s. Acupuncture is just one of several therapies that constitute traditional Chinese medicine. The ancient view holds that the basis of good health is the harmonious balance of qi, or vital energy, in the body. According to this paradigm, energy moves through the body along 14 main pathways, called meridians, and when the flow along one or several of the meridians is obstructed, the result may be disease or injury. By stimulating key points in the body - most commonly with needles - an acupuncturist seeks to restore balance to the normal energy flow and, consequently, to relieve pain or treat disease. Acupuncturists...
A meta-analysis study of acupuncture recently released in The Archives of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture was more effective in reducing various types of chronic pain than usual care and should be considered a reasonable treatment option.
Study Design and Results
Researchers conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for chronic pain to determine its effect compared to sham acupuncture and no acupuncture (usual care). While there are a large number of studies related to acupuncture for chronic pain, many were “of questionable interpretability and value” and were therefore excluded from this analysis.
After review, the scientists settled on 29 high-quality trials, which included a total of 17,922 individual patients and covered four chronic pain conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis , chronic headache and shoulder pain.
The results were given in “standard deviation” scores, which I p...
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