Washington: A researchers has revealed that medical acupuncture is effective in reducing pain after tonsillectomy surgery and can be used as an alternative to codeine.
Dr. James Ochi, a San Diego pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon conducted a study using acupuncture instead of codeine for pain relief for his tonsillectomy patients.
"I`ve been using medical acupuncture for years to help my patients suffer less pain after surgery. Now that it is unsafe to use codeine for these kids, I wanted to see if acupuncture without the use of narcotics was helpful for my patients," Dr. Ochi said. " Acupuncture in general has been shown to be effective in reducing pain, is safe and can be done quickly at minimal cost."
In this novel study, 31 patients ranging from 2 to 17 years old received acupuncture after tonsillectomy. Prior to acupuncture treatment, patients or their parents reported a mean pain level of 5.52 out of 10.
After about 15 minutes of acupuncture the pain level dropped to 1.92, a statistically significant difference. Furthermore, parents on average estimated the duration of benefit from the acupuncture to last about 2 and a half days. No adverse effects were reported as a result of the drug-free treatments.
The study is published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.