Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Pain; Acupuncture Therapy


Acupuncture as a treatment for pain relief has recently gained popularity in the United States despite the lack of substantial clinical proof of its analgesic effect. In the recent past there have been several reviews of the clinical studies on acupuncture's analgesic efficacy, all of which have demanded that future studies have more appropriate outcome measures, better design, and have proper credibility assessment. The present study critically analyzed the published literature over the past decade to see if the latest acupuncture studies provide a more definitive answer regarding acupuncture's efficacy. Analysis revealed that recent studies do not provide any more proof for or against acupuncture analgesia. The author suggests that the analgesic effect of acupuncture may indeed exist but may be so minimal as not to produce scientifically significant results in its favor. More high quality studies are required before a definitive conclusion can be determined.