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Acupuncture May Relieve Tonsillectomy Pain in Children

Update Date: Dec 20, 2013 05:58 PM EST

Chinese acupuncture may help relieve pain caused by tonsillectomy in children and teens, according to a new study.

A new preliminary study reveals that acupuncture may decrease perceived pain in children after they've had their tonsils removed.

The latest study involved 56 children and adolescents who underwent tonsillectomy over a three-month period for whom no narcotic painkillers were prescribed after surgery.

The children were offered acupuncture for pain relief, and their perceived pain level was evaluated before and after treatment.

Researcher James W. Ochi, M.D., from Children's ENT of San Diego, found that the average pain level of children who received acupuncture dropped from 5.52 out of 10 to 1.92 after treatment, according to HealthDay.

The findings also revealed that the average duration of perceived acupuncture benefit was 61.24 hours. What's more there were no negative side effects seen with acupuncture treatments.

"The data tentatively suggest that acupuncture decreases perceived pain in children and adolescents after tonsillectomy," Ochi wrote in the study. "These data-combined with the cost effectiveness, safety, and ease of administering acupuncture-suggest that further studies exploring the effectiveness of acupuncture in juveniles after tonsillectomy are merited."

The findings are published December in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology.

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