Acupuncture Beats Morphine for Acute Pain in ER

In this intriguing study, 300 Emergency Room patients suffering from acute moderate to severe pain were given either IV morphine or acupuncture treatment. Guess which was better . . . .

Success rates of the two treatments were significantly different, but not in the direction you might expect. The morphine was successful 78% of the time, but the acupuncture was successful a significantly more impressive 92% of the time. Acupuncture is not only better, it’s faster. The acupuncture worked in 16 minutes while the morphine needed a painfully longer 28 minutes: a significant difference that makes a big difference when you’re in pain.

Another reason why acupuncture is better? 89 patients experienced minor adverse effects, but only four of them were in the acupuncture group; 85 of them were in the morphine group. That means that 56.6% of people given morphine suffered side effects versus only 2.6% of people given acupuncture. 64 people administered morphine experienced dizziness and 36 had nausea or vomiting. No one in the acupuncture group did.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture is “at least as efficacious and has a better safety profile than IV morphine.”

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2016;doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2016.07.028

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For much more on treating pain, see our book, The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

Linda Woolven is a Registered acupuncturist (and Master Herbalist). She is a member of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontatio. For pain, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.


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