Auricular Acupuncture in Emergency Department Treatment of Acute Pain

Ann Emerg Med. 2016 Nov;68(5):583-585. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 Jun 8.


The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization note that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for pain. Nonopioid treatment options for moderate to severe acute pain in the emergency department (ED) are limited. Additional strategies for managing acute pain in the ED are needed. Auricular Battlefield Acupuncture has been described as a simple, safe, rapid, and effective analgesic option to opioid medications in managing acute pain. We describe 4 cases in which emergency physicians with brief training performed this auricular acupuncture protocol to treat patients with acute pain in EDs when opioid analgesia was not an acceptable option.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture, Ear* / methods
  • Acute Pain / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Appendicitis / therapy
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / therapy
  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy
  • Male
  • Young Adult