Hong Kong Med J 2001;7:381-91 | Number 4, December 2001
SEMINAR PAPERS—COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
Acupuncture for frozen shoulder
KO Sun, KC Chan, SL Lo, DYT Fong
Department of Anaesthesiology and Operating Theatre Services Kwong Wah Hospital, 25 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
This randomised controlled trial was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for frozen shoulder. Thirty-five patients with a diagnosis of frozen shoulder were randomly allocated to an exercise group or an exercise plus acupuncture group and treated for a period of 6 weeks. Functional mobility, power, and pain were assessed by a blinded assessor using the Constant Shoulder Assessment, at baseline, 6 weeks and 20 weeks. Analysis was based on the intention-to-treat principle. Compared with the exercise group, the exercise plus acupuncture group experienced significantly greater improvement with treatment. Improvements in scores by 39.8% (standard deviation, 27.1) and 76.4% (55.0) were seen for the exercise and the exercise plus acupuncture groups, respectively at 6 weeks (P=0.048), and were sustained at the 20-week re-assessment (40.3% [26.7] and 77.2% [54.0], respectively; P=0.025). We conclude that the combination of acupuncture with shoulder exercise may offer effective treatment for frozen shoulder.
Key words: Acupuncture; Exercise therapy; Medicine, Chinese traditional; Randomized controlled trial; Shoulder pain
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