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S22: Acupuncture and Complementary Medicine in Pain Management

12:15 - 13:15, Flagler, Terrace Level

Lucy Chen (1), Jian Kong (1), Lixing Lao, (2)

(1): Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, United States          

(2): School of Chinese Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong



Pain is one of the most common causes for many patients to seek medical assistance. Despite development of new drugs and advancement in interventional and surgical procedures for chronic pain management, complementary and alternative medicine treatment, such as acupuncture, have become increasingly popular due to unsatisfactory outcomes of or adverse effects and risks related to pharmacological and interventional treatments. Current research in acupuncture has generated a large body of evidence to support the acupuncture use in acute or chronic pain conditions. In this symposium, we will provide update information on several topics related to acupuncture research in pain management. 1) One of the major reasons limited the clinical evidence of the acupuncture is the lack of objective pain assessment tools to adequately evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as compared with that of conventional treatment modalities.  We will discuss the current study trial by using a set of translational research study tools to evaluate acupuncture treatment outcome in chronic radicular pain patients.  2) We will discuss using neuroimaging technology to study brain connectivity and dysfunction in chronic pain patients as well as how to modulate the functional connectivity to change clinical outcome through longitudinal study. 3) We will discuss the current understanding of acupuncture mechanisms, and the challenges in acupuncture clinical trials in management of pain.