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.
An analysis 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.