VISUALVIGNETTE Battlefield Acupuncture: An Emerging Method for Easing Pain Charles E. Levy, MD, Nicholas Casler, BS, and David B. FitzGerald, MD hronic pain is a serious problem for combat veterans and C soldiers. In a sample of 2597 soldiers who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq, 44% reported pain lasting for more than 3 months, half of whom reported pain for 1 year or more. Pain medications, including opioids, often have limited ef- ficacy and may impose unwanted adverse effects. These limits explain the Department of Defense and the Veterans Adminis- FIGURE 1. Placement of a BFA dart. The gold dart can be seen at the tration's interest in nonpharmacologic interventions including distal end of the applicator. acupuncture. As traditionally practiced, acupuncture involves a complex assessment and individualized treatment by trained providers (300 hrs required for physicians), which are barriers to widespread implementation in military and veteran settings. In 2001, Niemtzow developed “battlefield acupuncture” (BFA), a form of auriculotherapy where a sequence of gold ai- guille semipermanent needles (Sedatelec, Irigny, France) are placed at up to five specific sites in one or both ears. Battlefield acupuncture is purported to influence central nervous system pain processing through its effects on
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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