Moxibustion or rheumatic conditions

Choi TY et al. Moxibustion for rheumatic conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Feb 18. Epub.

A systematic review that pooled data from 14 randomised controlled trials testing effectiveness of moxibustion for major rheumatic conditions. Trials were included if moxibustion was used alone (8 trials) or as a part of a combination therapy with conventional drugs (6 trials) for rheumatic conditions. All were of low methodological quality. The data suggested favourable effects of moxibustion alone on response rate compared with conventional drug therapy (p<0.02). A subgroup analysis showed significant effects of moxibustion compared with drug therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The results also suggested favourable effects of moxibustion plus drug therapy on the response rate compared with conventional drug therapy alone (p<0.02). The reviewers concluded that the trials included in this review were of low methodological quality, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions.

Effects of acupuncture in osteoarthritis of the knee

Lev-Ari S et al. Delayed effect of acupuncture treatment in OA of the knee: A blinded, randomized, controlled trial.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011; Article Number: 792975

A randomised controlled trial that assessed function and pain relief from 8 weeks of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy to standard care in 55 elderly patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Patients were allocated to biweekly acupuncture treatment or a control group that received sham acupuncture, both in addition to standard therapy. Primary outcomes measures were changes in the Knee Society Score (KSS) knee score and in KSS function and pain ratings at therapy onset, at 8 weeks (closure of study) and at 12 weeks. There was significant improvement in all three scores in both groups after 8 and 12 weeks compared with baseline (p<0.05). Significant differences between the intervention and control groups in the KSS knee score (p=.0036) was apparent only after 12 weeks. Patient satisfaction was higher in the intervention group. The researchers concluded that adjunctive acupuncture treatment seems to provide added improvement to standard care in elderly patients with OA of the knee.