Sham acupuncture and real acupuncture are equally effective in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Not only that, the study appearing in the September issue of Arthritis Care & Research, suggests that the communication style of the acupuncturist affects treatment results.
The study involved 455 patients with knee osteoarthritis who received either sham or real acupuncture. There were 72 healthy controls who received no treatment. Both the sham and real acupuncture groups reported significantly reduced levels of pain compared to the healthy, non-treatment group. Pain reduction was even greater in the group whose acupuncturist expressed high expectations for the treatment compared to the group whose acupuncturist was more neutral.
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