Health & Medical Pain Diseases

Study Shows Treating Back Pain With Acupuncture As Good Or Better Than Conventional Treatment

A study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals acupuncture to be more effective than conventional treatments in reducing back pain.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers divided over 600 participants with back pain into four groups.
Two groups received acupuncture, one group received a placebo version of acupuncture (in which the skin was stimulated but not pierced), while the participants of the final group received no acupuncture, but continued the conventional treatment program they were on.
At the end of seven weeks, all three groups who received acupuncture experienced greater and more meaningful improvement in their back pain than the conventional-care group.
Even placebo acupuncture techniques yielded positive results.
The positive effects of the placebo acupuncture raised questions about how acupuncture works, and what it is about the technique that causes a therapeutic result.
According to Dan Cherkin PhD, key researcher.
"One possibility is there is a physiological chain of events that occurs when you insert a needle or just stimulate the skin superficially.
They may or may not be the same.
" Another possibility: "believing you are getting a treatment that will help your back pain" actually does help it.
"Overall, 60% of the acupuncture-treated patients, but just 39% of the usual-care group patients had meaningful improvements in dysfunction," a WebMD article states.
Meaningful improvements refers to relief that allows patients to return to activities of daily living previously hindered by back pain.
Cherkin also remarks that Americans spend some $37 billion a year for medical care for back pain, and that acupuncture is a cost-effective option for those seeking treatment for the condition.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are increasingly recognized by the Western medical community as safe and effective pain management solutions.
Many MDs recommend acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as an adjunct therapy to patients suffering from back pain.

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