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Acupuncture Effective for Post-Tonsillectomy Pain in Children

Less pain, analgesic drug consumption for children treated with acupuncture, standard analgesics

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture, in addition to conventional analgesic treatment, is an effective treatment for post-tonsillectomy pain in children, according to a study published in the June issue of Pediatric Anesthesia.

Peter Gilbey, M.D., from the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, Israel, and colleagues examined whether acupuncture, in addition to conventional analgesic treatment, would be effective for post-tonsillectomy pain in children. Sixty children, aged 3 to 12 years, undergoing tonsillectomy were randomized to receive conventional postoperative analgesic treatment or the same regimen plus acupuncture.

The researchers found that the children assigned to the acupuncture group had less pain and less analgesic drug consumption. In addition, the acupuncture group reported higher patient/parent satisfaction with analgesic treatment scores. There were no adverse effects recorded.

"Acupuncture is a safe treatment, well tolerated by children aged 3 to 12 years and by their parents," the authors write. "Additional studies are warranted to further evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture for postoperative and perhaps other pain relief. There is a need for further research regarding intraoperative acupuncture and the long-term analgesic effect of acupuncture."

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