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Got Back Pain? Get Acupuncture.

Recent studies have shown acupuncture to be more effective than usual care (painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, etc.) for help relieving back pain in both short- and long-term cases. One study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine* showed:

“Those who got any of the acupuncture treatments were more likely than those getting usual care to have a ‘meaningful’ improvement in the dysfunction scale, which reflects the ability to engage in activities of daily living. Overall, 60% of the acupuncture-treated patients, but just 39% of the usual-care group patients, had meaningful improvements in dysfunction…those is the acupuncture group being able to do more daily activities, such as going to social functions or performing household tasks.”

Furthermore, those patients in the acupuncture group were still showing improvement up to one year after treatment! This is big news for those who are looking to get back to normal life after suffering from the debilitating effects of back pain.

Even physicians at the Mayo Clinic are supporting acupuncture for back pain. A recent post to a question on the “Expert Answers” section of their website states, “When performed properly by trained practitioners, acupuncture has proved to be an effective therapy for back pain. Several studies have found that acupuncture can help reduce chronic back pain and improve daily function.” (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acupuncture-for-back-pain/AN02055)

Another study review of 33 studies and over 2100 patients was performed at University of Maryland Medical Center and found “For people with chronic low back pain, this analysis shows that acupuncture is clearly effective in providing considerable pain relief…The research also showed that acupuncture provided true pain relief. The benefit was not just due to the placebo effect.” (http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/back_pain.htm)

For skeptics, there is no longer a question of “if” acupuncture works, but the question of “how” may still remain. Medical research is providing a number of possible answers, and Oriental Medicine theories are the same as they have been for 4000 years. Regardless, however we choose to look at it, acupuncture is proven to be more effective than usual care for back pain.

So, let me ask again… Got back pain?

* Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Avins AL, et al. A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169[9]:858–866.

Be Well…and pain free!

Dr. Ryan Lombardo

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595 Elm Place, Suite 208
Highland Park, IL 60035