Acupuncture and Frozen shoulder

Acupuncture for frozen shoulder

A 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).

The study concluded that the combination of acupuncture with shoulder exercise may offer effective treatment for frozen shoulder.

Location of study: Hong Kong
Journal: Med J. 2001 Dec;7(4):381-91.
Authors: Sun KO, Chan KC, Lo SL, Fong DY.

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