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Acupuncture 'safe and effective' for chronic pain in children

Study leader Angela Johnson, practitioner of Chinese medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and colleagues publish their findings in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. It is estimated that around 20-35% of children and teenagers across the globe have chronic pain.

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Treating adults with chronic pain has its difficulties, but treating children with the condition is even more challenging; there is little evidence on effective drug therapies for chronic pain in children, and health professionals are often wary of providing certain treatments to youngsters because of their vulnerability during growth and the fear of possible long-term health implications.