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Addition of Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) to a standard rehabilitation protocol results in a significantly greater reduction in post-surgical shoulder pain according to research carried out by the American military. Forty military veterans were randomised to either a standard care group who received physiotherapy, or a standard care + BFA group, prior to shoulder surgery. The standard BFA protocol was administered with semi-permanent needles placed on subjects' ears for 3-5 days within 24 hours of shoulder surgery. Addition of BFA to standard physiotherapy resulted in a significantly greater reduction in pain scores between baseline and seven days, and provided evidence of clinically important differences in favour of BFA. Opioid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use was similar in both groups.

Battlefield Acupuncture and Physical Therapy Versus Physical TherapyAlone After Shoulder Surgery. Med Acupunct. 2019 Aug 1;31(4):228-238