Sunday, November 29, 2015

Acupuncture Might Ease Chemotherapy Pain


MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Acupuncture may help relieve nerve pain caused by some cancer drugs, according to a new study.

Cancer drugs called taxanes, vinca alkaloids and platinum compounds can damage peripheral nerves, especially in the calves and feet, resulting in severe nerve pain or difficulty walking.

Currently, there is no effective treatment for the condition, called chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.

This small, preliminary study included six patients with peripheral neuropathy who underwent acupuncture and five patients with peripheral neuropathy who served as a comparison group. The acupuncture treatment involved insertion of 20 needles at specific points and depths, which were left in place for 20 minutes during each of the 10 sessions delivered by a doctor over a period of three months.

Tests of the signaling speed and intensity of two nerves in the same calf were conducted before acupuncture and again six months after chemotherapy. The same tests were carried out on patients who did not receive acupuncture.

The researchers found that both the speed and intensity of nerve signaling improved in five of the six patients who had acupuncture, and the five patients also said that their condition had improved.

Among patients in the comparison group, nerve speed stayed the same in three, improved in one and decreased in one. Nerve intensity improved in two, decreased in two, and stayed the same in one.

The study appears online in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.

Previous research has suggested that acupuncture may increase blood flow in the legs, which may help repair nerve damage, the study authors noted.

They concluded that the findings of their pilot study are "encouraging" and warrant further investigation in a larger study.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about chemotherapy side effects.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Acupuncture in Medicine, news release, Dec. 5, 2011

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
Latest Health Videos
Also on
letter icon Newsletter