In a randomized control study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers studied the efficacy of acupuncture in treating chronic lower back pain. The study focused on how acupuncture fared compared to no or very limited acupuncture treatment among patients suffering from chronic lower back pain.
The acupuncturists who performed the acupuncture in the study had a minimum of 140 hours of training, and also a minimum of 350 hours experience in treating patients with acupuncture. All patients who participated were diagnosed with chronic lower back pain. They ranged in age from 40 to 75 years old and had chronic low back pain (CLBP) for 6 years or more. The degree of pain they experienced was measured in terms of pain intensity. Their average pain intensity was 40 for a whole week before the start of the study. Sufferers of disc problems were not included in this study as well as those with substantial spinal conditions and patients who’ve had previous acupuncture treatment a year prior to the study. The study lasted more than two months, and it entailed a dozen treatments and the participation of 298 subjects/patients.
The results of the study showed that acupuncture had real effects with regards to the relief of pain in the CLBP patients, although there was hardly any difference in the results of acupuncture and very limited acupuncture. All in all, the group given acupuncture showed slightly better improvements compared to that of the very limited acupuncture group. However, around the 8th, 26th, and 52nd weeks, these two treatments were more or less registering the same results.
The archives of internal medicine posted a study involving 600 subjects and the results of that study showed that acupuncture patients had found much better more positive results in the treatment of their LBP compared to those given conventional therapy. There were four groups in this study. Two were given acupuncture therapy, the third group was treated with a placebo type of acupuncture, and the fourth group was solely treated with conventional modes of treatment.
This study took seven weeks to complete. The results were as follows: after seven weeks, all groups except the one given conventional treatment showed a significant improvement in their Low Back Pain symptoms. Around 60% of the group who have received acupuncture treatment experienced significant benefits while only 39% of those who were treated with conventional therapy group had fair improvement of their condition.
Several questions were raised with regards to the outcomes of the study and most of them were about the psychological effect of acupuncture on the patients.
For people with Low Back Pain, this study is a good reason to try out acupuncture. Besides being a natural, safe and obviously effective form of treatment, acupuncture is actually much more affordable than conventional therapies. The United States spends almost 40 billion dollars annually on medical expenses and so acupuncture can be an attractive alternative treatment in terms of its relatively low financial cost.