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Acupuncture for restless legs syndrome

Evidence Summaries

Level of Evidence = D

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether acupuncture is an efficacious and safe treatment for RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome)The level of evidence is downgraded by study quality (unclear allocation concealment and blinding) and imprecise results.

A Cochrane review 1 included 2 studies with a total of 170 subjects. No significant difference was detected in remission of overall symptoms between acupuncture and medications in one trial (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.24). Another trial found that dermal needle therapy used in combination with medications and massage was more effective than medications and massage alone, in terms of remission of unpleasant sensations in the legs (RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.75; WMD -0.61, 95% CI -0.96 to -0.26) and reduction of RLS frequency (WMD -3.44, 95% CI -5.15 to -1.73). However, there was no significant difference for the reduction in either the longest or the shortest duration of RLS (WMD -2.58, 95% CI -5.92 to 0.76; WMD -0.38, 95% CI -1.08 to 0.32).

Date of latest search: 2008-05-30


1. Cui Y, Wang Y, Liu Z. Acupuncture for restless legs syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;(4):CD006457.  [PMID:18843716]

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"Acupuncture for Restless Legs Syndrome." Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines, Duodecim Medical Publications Limited, 2019. Evidence Central, evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/458178/all/Acupuncture_for_restless_legs_syndrome.
Acupuncture for restless legs syndrome. Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Duodecim Medical Publications Limited; 2019. https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/458178/all/Acupuncture_for_restless_legs_syndrome. Accessed August 18, 2019.
Acupuncture for restless legs syndrome. (2019). In Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Available from https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/458178/all/Acupuncture_for_restless_legs_syndrome
Acupuncture for Restless Legs Syndrome [Internet]. In: Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines. Duodecim Medical Publications Limited; 2019. [cited 2019 August 18]. Available from: https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/458178/all/Acupuncture_for_restless_legs_syndrome.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Acupuncture for restless legs syndrome ID - 458178 BT - Evidence-Based Medicine Guidelines UR - https://evidence.unboundmedicine.com/evidence/view/EBMG/458178/all/Acupuncture_for_restless_legs_syndrome PB - Duodecim Medical Publications Limited DB - Evidence Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -