Acupuncture indications

Acupuncture indicationsIn recent years, the subject of the various conditions that can be treated by acupuncture has been of increasing concern to the medical community (recognizing the need, for example, for scientific documentation), as well as to insurance firms that are expected to cover the ever-increasing cost of health services. The effectiveness of acupuncture, the safety of the method, the ease of its application, and the cost of the treatment are being investigated in the framework of modern requirements and scientific data.

The World Health Organization (WHO) compiled in 1996, and revised in 2003, a list of diseases for which there is sufficient evidence to substantiate the therapeutic effect of acupuncture (
The list is organized according to clinical studies published in major medical journals.
The National Institute of Health in America (NIH), the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) and the British Medical Acupuncture Society (BMAS), based on these studies, published a list of conditions that respond to treatment with acupuncture; the entries in this list were also adopted by the IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain).
The list does not state that all the mentioned diseases can be treated – for some, acupuncture can improve the situation or provide symptomatic relief.

The principal conditions for which the application of acupuncture is expected to result in clinical improvement are as follows:

Musculoskeletal pains

  • Muscle spasms  (trigger points)
  • Neck pain (without loss of power  or reflexes)
  • Shoulder periarthritis
  • Nerve compression syndromes (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome)
  • Inner elbow pain (Tennis elbow) &  Medial epicondylitis (Golfer’s elbow)
  • Costochondritis (Tietze's syndrome)
  • Tendonitis
  • Tenosynovitis (De Quervain syndrome)
  • Back pain (acute & chronic)
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis (knees, hips, acromioclavicular joint)
  • Metatarsalgia (Morton's neuroma)
  • Sports injuries
  • muscle tissue pains  (contusions)
  • Sprain


  • Migraine (preventative treatment)
  • Tension headache
  • Cervicogenic headache

Painful conditions – idiopathic pain syndromes

  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Temporomandibular joint syndrome
  • Atypical facial pain
  • Chronic pelvic pain

Neurological symptoms

  • Peripheral neuropathy (neuropathic pain)
  • Neurogenic intermittent claudication
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  • Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)
  • Trigeminal nerve pain
  • Facial nerve paresis (Bell’s palsy)
  • Rehabilitation after a stroke
  • Ménière's disease  (endolymphatic hydrops)

Respiratory problems

  • Asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis

Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease)
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome /Spastic colitis)
  • Digestive complaints
  • Postoperative ileus


  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Reduction in Withdrawal syndrome

Nausea and Vomiting

  • Nausea during the first trimester in pregnancy
  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Nausea from chemotherapy

Gynecological issues

  • Dysmenorrhea (period pains)
  • Infertility
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
  • Cycle disorders – early menopause
  • Postmenopausal syndrome
  • Childbirth

Dermatological issues

  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
  • Itching
  • Cellulite

Cases of psychosomatic symptomatology

Sundry conditions

  • Allergies
  • Mouth dryness
  • Eye dryness
  • Ear ringing (Tinnitus)

The more our knowledge of the body's neurophysiology increases, and the greater the number of clinical studies that are conducted, the more integrated and better documented the conditions that can be treated by acupuncture will be.

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