Additional use of acupuncture to NSAID effectively reduces post-tonsillectomy pain.

Additional use of acupuncture to NSAID effectively reduces post-tonsillectomy pain. 

Sertel S, Herrmann S, Greten HJ, Haxsen V, El-Bitar S, Simon CH, Baumann I, Plinkert PK.   Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany. [email protected]   Post-tonsillectomy swallowing pain is a common and distressing side effect after tonsillectomy and thus of great clinical interest. Up until now, there is no randomized controlled patient- and observer-blinded study evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture against swallowing pain after tonsillectomy. We therefore compared the potency of specific verum acupuncture points related to a Chinese medical diagnosis in reducing postoperative swallowing pain with non-specific control points on the body as well as a non-acupuncture group who received standard medication only. The standardized pain therapy after tonsillectomy was orally administered nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) (diclofenac 3 x 50 mg oral). The patients (n = 123) treated with NSAID were asked about their acute pain after taking a sip of water between the first and fifth postoperative day. Participants’ pain was assessed using visual analog (VAS) [zero (0) for no pain up to ten (10) for the acute reported outset pain] before and 20 min, 1, 2 and 3 h after acupuncture treatment or standard pain medication, respectively. The functional assessment of diagnosis and treatment point-combination occurred by means of the “Heidelberg Model” of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Verum acupuncture lead to a significant additional pain relief. In comparison to the acupuncture, they also reported an average of 3 h duration of adequate pain-relief past taking the NSAID. This trial strongly supports a specific acupuncture scheme for the treatment of postoperative swallowing pain after tonsillectomy. It may particularly serve as an alternative pain treatment in case of NSAID intolerances.

About Dr. Dirceu de Lavôr Sales

Dr. Dirceu de Lavôr Sales, médico especializado em Clínica Médica, Acupuntura, Homeopatia, tratamento da Dor e presidente do Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa em Saúde

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