Acupuncture treatment for back pain: recommended by NHS

Small masthead positive A Acupuncture treatment for back pain: recommended by NHS


Simon Crompton
July 4 2009 12:00AM

The therapy has been recommended for treating lower back pain within the NHS. So does it really work – and why?

Last month, new official guidance said that patients with persistent lower back pain should be offered acupuncture on the NHS. The recommendation, from the NHS rationing body NICE, said that the scientific evidence now showed that acupuncture was not only effective at treating back pain, but also cost effective when other treatments, such as painkillers, were found not to be working.

This came hot on the heels of a report from the influential medical research review body the Cochrane Collaboration, saying that headache and migraine sufferers clearly fared better with acupuncture than painkillers.

Even more astoundingly, a major study from the same respected body last year indicated that acupuncture could make women more fertile. A large scientific review found that women undergoing fertility treatment were more likely to give birth successfully if they had acupuncture.

Excerpt taken from full articleThe NHS now backs Acupuncture

NHS guidelines published last week recommend that doctors offer patients suffering from back pain a 12-week course of acupuncture

Helen Brooks
Published: 31 May 2009

Alternative cure promoted by NHS for the first time The NHS last week unveiled new guidelines for treating back pain, which included the use of acupuncture and spinal manipulation. This was the first time that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the health service rationing body, had recommended alternative therapies. The guidance says GPs should give patients the choice of a course of 10 acupuncture sessions over 12 weeks as part of their treatment. The advice was based on seven studies that tested acupuncture’s efficacy and compared it with traditional treatments for lower-back pain. Nice concluded that acupuncture was just as effective at curing such pain, at least on a short-term basis, as the methods currently used.

70% of Britons suffer back pain at some time Back pain is the biggest cause of work-related absence in Britain. Lower-back pain is particularly prevalent, affecting 70% of people at some stage in their life, according to NHS statistics. Traditional treatments rely on a combination of exercise and chemical pain relief, but advocates of complementary medicine believe that acupuncture can help release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers. Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, welcomed the new guidelines. “I have found osteopathy and chiropracty helpful with some patients, and become more convinced about acupuncture, having previously been sceptical,” he said.

Excerpt taken from full article: Briefing: Acupuncture: Needle works

choices logo Acupuncture treatment for back pain: recommended by NHS


Tuesday May 12 2009

Full article: NHS Choices

Acupuncture is ‘better at beating a bad back than conventional treatments’

If your back has been needling you for a while, it could be time for a trip to the acupuncturist, for experts have found that the ancient Chinese therapy can relieve a bad back better than anything else.

As many as 85 per cent of us are said to feel a twinge or two at some point in our lives. Back pain costs the NHS £500million a year.

A study found that acupuncture, based on the theory that needles can release the body’s vital energy, had a better success rate in relieving pain than conventional treatment.

Excerpt taken from full article: Mail Online

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