New research demonstrates that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic lower back pain. Researchers studied back pain patients in an inpatient rehabilitation clinic in Germany. Two groups of patients were compared. Group 1 received acupuncture plus conventional rehabilitation services. Group 2 received only rehabilitation services. The researchers discovered that patients willingly accepted acupuncture as a means of care and showed significant improvements in physical functioning, overall health and energy levels and improvements in emotional well-being over the conventional care only group. Notably, the acupuncture group also demonstrated significant improvements over the conventional care only group in the area of pain reduction.
Acupuncture significantly reduced pain levels and reduced the numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and feet. The acupuncture patients had less pain upon sitting, and standing. The researchers concluded, “Acupuncture was highly accepted and had positive effects in patients with chronic low back pain. These results show that acupuncture can be an effective, well-tolerated therapy with no major adverse events.”
This research is supported by that of investigators in Calgary (Alberta, Canada). In this study, the researchers discovered that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of lower back pain and is also cost-effective. Patients receiving acupuncture for the treatment of lower back pain required approximately 50% less visits to an M.D. than patients who did not received acupuncture. The investigators discovered, in the course of the study, that patients receiving acupuncture spent 37% less on total medical services. Patients not receiving acupuncture had only a 1% drop in medical expenses for the treatment of lower back pain. The researchers concluded that utilizing acupuncture for the treatment of lower back pain reduces overall healthcare spending.
The emergence of new research demonstrating acupuncture’s beneficial effects for the treatment of pain extends to many body parts and conditions. Research published in Clinical Rheumatology finds acupuncture effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia (FMS). The researchers note that acupuncture provides “beneficial effects” for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Another study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore) concludes that “real acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture for improving symptoms of patients with FMS.” Another study published by the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (Rochester, Minnesota) concludes, “We found that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety.”