The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Support this site

    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Review: Acupuncture to treat peripheral joint osteoarthritis

    This Cochrane review covers osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, or hand.

    First, the details.

    • 16 studies involving 3498 people were included.
    • 12 included only people with osteoarthritis of the knee, 3 only osteoarthritis of the hip, and 1 a mix of people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee.

    And, the results.

    • Compared to sham control, acupuncture showed statistically significant, but not clinical significant, 4% improvement.
      • Short-term benefits of acupuncture were smaller and non-significant when treatment evaluators were unaware of the treatment assignment.
    • Compared to a waiting list control
      • Acupuncture showed statistically significant, clinically relevant 13% short-term improvements in osteoarthritis pain and function.
    • In direct comparisons of acupuncture with the ‘supervised osteoarthritis education’ and the ‘physician consultation’ control groups
      • Acupuncture showed clinically relevant short- and long-term improvements in pain and function.
    • In direct comparisons of acupuncture with ‘home exercises/advice leaflet’ and ‘supervised exercise’
      • Acupuncture was similar to controls.
    • Acupuncture added to an exercise program
      • There were no greater improvements than with exercise alone.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Sham-controlled trials show statistically significant benefits; however, these benefits are small.”

    Furthermore, they believe that much of the reported benefit “may be due to expectation or placebo effects.”

    1/23/10 16:00 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.