Acupuncture is moderately beneficial for patients with back pain, according to a report in the British Medical Journal.
Researchers conducted a 2-year randomized, controlled trial that followed 241 adults, ages 18 to 65 years, with persistent, non-specific lower back pain. Each participant remained under general practitioner care, and was randomly assigned to either NHS care or up to 10 acupuncture treatment sessions. Pain levels were analyzed at intervals, and researchers also recorded the patients’ satisfaction with the treatment and their use of pain medications, according to the news release.
At 12 months, researchers found that those having acupuncture had slightly lower pain scores. At 24 months, they reported having a reduction in worrying about back pain and had less of a chance of using pain medication.
Results showed that total NHS costs were higher on average for the acupuncture group, at $859, while costs for the non-acupuncture group were $644.