BACK PAIN TREATABLE WITH ACUPUNCTURE
Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), up to 80 percent of the general population in the United States will suffer an episode of low back pain during their lifetimes.
A study examining acupuncture’s effect on nonspecific low back pain appearing in a recent online issue of the British Medical Journal found that patients treated with 10 sessions of traditional Chinese acupuncture over three months reported less pain at a 24-month follow-up than patients who did not get the therapy. “If you offer acupuncture to someone with back pain on average it is expected you are likely to benefit, not just in the short term but particularly in the longer-term of 12 and especially 24 months,” said University of York scientist and co-author Hugh MacPherson, Ph.D., according to a post-study interview.
The researchers compared the impact of adding the acupuncture sessions to the normal treatment for back pain, which includes medication, physiotherapy and exercises. Study participants included 241 back pain sufferers aged 18 to 65 years receiving treatment at three private acupuncture clinics and 18 general practices in York. Findings indicated increased patient satisfaction with acupuncture care, reduced concerns about back pain, and reduced use of analgesics in those receiving the acupuncture course of treatment.
The data indicated acupuncture could be effective in the primary care management of persistent non-specific low back pain. “Our study contributes evidence for a short term acupuncture intervention compared with usual general practitioner care for non-specific low back pain,” the authors conclude.
Acupuncture treatment intervention to reduce back pain is most effective with frequent initial sessions followed by weekly treatments as the pain minimizes. Additionally, aerobic exercise, balance and strengthening exercises such as tai chi, yoga or pilates can keep back muscles strong. For more information about acupuncture for back pain or to schedule a free 15-minute initial consultation contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500.