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Acupuncture Can Help Treat Children With Chronic Pain

Update Date: Dec 17, 2015 01:35 PM EST

Acupuncture can help children who are suffering from chronic pain, according to a recent study.

It achieves its purpose by inserting thin needles into strategic points on the body, says Mayo Clinic.

"Acupuncture provides an amazing alternative to chronic pain medication. This is especially true for patients who may have to cope with pain for most of their life, including those who have sickle cell anemia and aftereffects of cancer. In addition it helps with anxiety and depression," said Paul Kent, MD, co-principal investigator of the study and pediatric oncologist at Rush, in a news release.

It has always been known to bring down pain in adults, but there is no information about its activity on children. Chronic pain is making 20 to 35 percent of children under the age of 18 all over the world suffer, with conditions including "headaches, abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, scoliosis, leukemia, sports injuries and Crohn's disease", according to scienceworldreport.

Scientists looked at 55 children and adolescents between 7 and 20 years, who suffered chronic pain. Every one of them received eight "individually tailored acupuncture treatments" for half an hour.

They all agreed that they had "significant and progressive declines" in pain all through the eight-session treatment, which was strong in the initial treatment. They all said they had "substantial pain reductions from the start to the end of each session" and even in health, emotional, social, and educational problems.

It is possible, then to use them in paediatric treatments.

The study is published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

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