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TCM Articles  

Acupuncture and Postoperative Pain

Date Published: 7 Nov, 2018

At our Gold Coast Acupuncture clinic we see a lot of patients post surgery to assist with the postoperative symptoms.

Postoperative pain is a result of trauma from surgery and is often a challenge for western medicine. Approx. 75% of patients can experience moderate to severe pain post-surgery and the use of opioid drugs such as morphine and fentanyl are common and frequently prescribed. These drugs often bring with them side-affects such as vomiting, sedation, dizziness, nausea and changes to the gut (1).

Acupuncture has been seen to be effective in the management of pain in conjunction with or compared to routine care. A number of clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture and related techniques as an adjunct treatment for postoperative pain, however a systematic review has been recently done to analyse the available data (1).

13 studies were used in the systematic review with over 680 participants of which more than half received acupuncture or related treatments. Surgeries in the studies included shoulder, abdominal, cardiac, lumbar disc protrusion, gynaecological, hip and hernia repair. Comparatively, the patients in the acupuncture group reported less pain and less opioid use on day 1 post-surgery, than those in the control group (1).

In an another systematic review of 15 randomised control trials acupuncture was beneficial in reducing opioid consumption and patient reported pain over an 8-72hr period (2). It was also reported that the acupuncture group had a lower reported incidence of opioid-related side-affects such as dizziness, nausea, sedation and itchiness (2).

If you would like to book in for an acupuncture appointment with one of our practitioners, please call us on (07) 5531 6461 or you can book online via our website.

© Haynes Acupuncture 2018


  1. Wu, M., Chen, K., Chen, I., Huang, S., Tzeng, P., Yeh, M., Lee, F., Lin, J. and Chen, C. (2018). The Efficacy of Acupuncture in Post-Operative Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis– PubMed – NCBI. [online] Available at:

2. Sun, Ye et al., (2018). Acupuncture and related techniques for postoperative pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Available at:

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Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast are still operating standard hours to the general public. With the unfortunate circumstances of Covid-19 Australia-wide, we have put into effect strict hygienic protocols for the safety of our patients and staff. With the fluidity of the current situation, we are regularly keeping up to date with the Australian Government Department of Health recommendations.

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