To help pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses doctors at Rush University Medical Center are offering acupuncture therapy.
The lack of options for pain management in children has been reported as one of the most difficult aspects of providing care to pediatric patients. Research indicates that up to 70 percent of pediatric patients experience pain and those with chronic illnesses often do not have adequate relief or prevention of pain.
The acupuncture therapy is provided to help ease the pain and negative side effects like nausea, fatigue, and vomiting caused by chronic health conditions and intensive treatments. The use of Chinese and Western medicine at Rush Children’s Hospital is part of a study to analyze and document how acupuncture might help in reducing pain in children and increase quality of life.
“Treating children with acupuncture is a new frontier,” said Dr. Paul Kent, pediatric hematology and oncology expert, Rush Children’s Hospital. “We are looking to see if there is an effective pain management therapy we can offer that does not have the serious side effects that can be caused by narcotics and other serious pain medications.”
“Acupuncture could be a potential solution to this dilemma of controlling pain in pediatric patients,” said Angela Johnson, Chinese medicine practitioner at Rush.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has published a statement concluding that acupuncture is effective for treating adults for nausea following chemotherapy and for pain after dental surgery. The agency also said that the therapy might be useful in treating other health issues such as addiction, migraines, headaches, menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, arthritis, low-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma. In some pediatric studies, both patients and parents have stated that acupuncture treatments were both helpful and relaxing.