Objective: The aim of the study was to examine whether acupuncture is an effective additional pain treatment for endometriosis.
Study design: One hundred and one women aged 20-40 years participated and were randomised into two groups, each receiving two units of 10 acupuncture treatments, twice a week over a period of five weeks. Group 1 (n = 47) received verum-acupuncture during the first series, and group 2 (n = 54) received non-specific acupuncture. After the first unit of 10 treatments, an observation period of at least two menstruation cycles was set, followed by a second unit, according to a cross-over design. Prior to the study (during a two-week run-in period) the patients' actual pain intensity was surveyed. Throughout the study period, participants were asked to keep a 'pain protocol', in which they defined and recorded their pain according to the 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS).
Results: Eighty-three out of a total of 101 patients finished the study. Group 1 showed a significant reduction of pain intensity after the first 10 treatments. In comparison, group 2 showed significant pain relief only after the cross-over.
Conclusion: Acupuncture treatment on specific acupuncture points appears to be an effective pain treatment for endometriosis, but this has to be confirmed in further study.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.