Acupuncture for pain: Professor of anaesthesiology’s recent talk on the use of acupuncture for pain
Talking at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management’s Annual Meeting in the US just over a week ago, Dr Farshad Ahadian, clinical professor of anaesthesiology, gave a speech on the current state of acupuncture as a pain management tool:
“Right now, we have a pretty solid foundation for the efficacy of acupuncture for headache, osteoarthritis (OA), and musculoskeletal conditions… I think it's fair to say that acupuncture is here to stay. It's going to be a permanent addition to our tool box.”
In his talk Dr Ahadian not only mentions some significant research on nearly 18,000 patients demonstrating acupuncture’s use with various different kinds of pain, but he also talk about research illustrating acupuncture’s effects on portions of the brain important in the experience and perception of pain:
"Chronic pain can lead to abnormal patterns or disruption of functional connectivity in various brain centers…acupuncture can help modulate and help normalize functional connectivity” he says.
Dr Ahadian referenced research into acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee and remarked that the analysis demonstrated statistically significant improvement in functional connectivity in the right frontal parietal network and the executive control network, which are the brain centers that are felt to play a significant role in processing pain, '...at the same time, there was decreased connectivity in the sensory motor network… these are patterns that you would expect with improved pain control.”
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