For the study, Alan Nager and co-authors from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, assessed subjective pain among paediatric patients immediately before and 20 minutes after treatment by a licensed acupuncturist.
Researchers also measured two biomarkers of inflammation in blood samples taken before, during, and 30 minutes after needle placement. The patients’ subjective pain decreased, likely due to the acupuncture treatment, the authors reported.
Furthermore, one of the inflammatory biomarkers (white blood cell count) “showed a modest and noticeable drop” suggesting “that the effectiveness of acupuncture may have a biophysiological basis”, said the study.
The findings were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.