Can acupuncture be an effective therapy for treating osteoporosis?

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine suggested that acupuncture is an effective therapy for treating osteoporosis. The review’s findings found that different forms of acupuncture are more effective than Western medicine.

  • Researchers from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China assessed the efficacy of acupuncture as a clinical treatment for osteoporosis.
  • The researchers reviewed 35 studies involving a total of 3,014 patients.
  • These studies were randomized controlled trials that compared warm acupuncture, needling, or electroacupuncture with sole Western medicine for the treatment of osteoporosis.
  • The results showed that warm acupuncture could increase the bone mineral density of lumbarĀ and femur, as well as the levels of calcium and estradiol, compared to sole Western medicine.
  • Warm acupuncture could also reduce pain and level of alkaline phosphatase.
  • Compared to sole Western medicine, electroacupuncture could also relieve pain, reduce alkaline phosphatase, and increase calcium levels.
  • Needling could also relieve pain compared to sole Western medicine.
  • These results suggest that among the three types of acupuncture, warm acupuncture was the most effective for osteoporosis, followed by electroacupuncture and needling.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that acupuncture could be an effective alternative treatment for osteoporosis.

To read more studies on the health benefits of acupuncture, visit

Journal Reference:
Pan H, Jin R, Li M, Liu Z, Xie Q, Wang P. THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACUPUNCTURE FOR OSTEOPOROSIS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 04 April 2018; 46(3): 489-513. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X18500258

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