A new study suggests using acupuncture before surgery may reduce the need for opioids after the procedure.
The study included veterans undergoing hip replacement surgery. They were divided into two groups. One received acupuncture before surgery, and the second group received sham acupuncture, which mimics acupuncture.
The study found veterans who had acupuncture before surgery reported less pain and needed far fewer opioids to manage their discomfort. They also said they were more satisfied with their pain control compared with veterans who did not receive acupuncture, Medical News Today reports.
“Six percent of patients given opioids after surgery become dependent on them, and veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental overdoses than civilians,” lead author Brinda Krish, D.O., of Detroit Medical Center said in a news release. “Clearly it is crucial to have multiple options for treating pain, and acupuncture is an excellent alternative. It is safe, cost effective and it works.”