Chronic Back Pain is considered one of the frequent reasons for doctor’s visits. The word chronic in itself tells us that majority of these complaints remain as back pains for a long time with transient relief of symptoms in between. This is one setting in our medical practice where patients then resort to alternative medicine.
One of these alternative routes of therapy is acupuncture. Before I left the Mayo Clinic after my fellowship, the center was setting up an Acupuncture Unit for research into this ancient Chinese way of treating diseases. The mere fact there’s an interest in doing studies means there’s truth to the curative aspects of acupuncture that needs to be studied thoroughly to be accepted in the Western world.
Now comes the largest study to date of acupuncture for chronic low back pain published in the Sept 1 issue of American Journal of Epidemiology.The study looked at whether acupuncture can ease the pain, and improve back function and involved around 11,630 patients with chronic low back pain. Patients received up to 15 treatments over a three-month period, and were followed for an additional three months.
The Findings seem promising:
2. Non acupuncture treated patients: only 26.8 percent responded to treatment.
3. Those who initially did not receive acupuncture then later were given the treatment had similar equal response in terms of relief of pain.
4. The relief of pain persisted up to 6 months after acupuncture treatment.
A safe alternative approach to back pain especially if conventional forms of therapy have so far not offered any relief. Finding a good practitioner however can be a challenge! But if you find one.. I would say… Go for it!
Acupuncture May Be Worth It…For The Pain!