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Includes the full guideline if available. Find more resources in the Cochrane Community. In the broader healthcare context it refers to any attempt to synthesise the results of more than one study on a particular topic area. The term research means different things to different people, but is essentially about finding out new knowledge that could lead to changes to treatments, policies or care.
The attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods. Acupuncture may lead to small improvements in pain and physical function after 8 weeks. Acupuncture may lead to small improvements in pain and physical function after 26 weeks. We often do not have precise information about side effects and complications. This is particularly true for rare but serious side effects. Possible side effects of acupuncture treatment include minor bruising and bleeding at the site of needle insertion. What is osteoarthritis and what is acupuncture?
When the joint loses cartilage, the bone grows to try and repair the damage. Instead of making things better, however, the bone grows abnormally and makes things worse. For example, the bone can become misshapen and make the joint painful and unstable. This can affect your physical function or ability to use your knee. According to the philosophy of traditional acupuncture, energy circulates in ‘meridians’ located throughout the body. Pain or ill health happens when something occurs to cause this meridian energy circulation to be blocked.
The way to restore health is to stimulate the appropriate combination of acupuncture points in the body by inserting very thin needles. Sometimes in painful conditions, electrical stimulation along with the needles is also used. According to acupuncture theory, one way you can tell that acupuncture is relieving pain is that you may feel numbness or tingling, called de qi, where the needle is inserted. People who had acupuncture rated their pain to be improved by about 4 points on a scale of 0 to 20. People who received sham acupuncture rated their pain to be improved by about 3 points on a scale of 0 to 20. People who received acupuncture had a 1 point greater improvement on a scale of 0-20.