It has been proven that acupuncture back pain is possible. This ancient technique helps relieve not only acute back pain but chronic back pain as well. It is better than the usual standard care such as medication or physical therapy.
According to study researcher Dan Cherkin, a PhD and a senior investigator at Group Health Center for Health studies in Seattle, he said, “Acupuncture-like treatments had a positive effect overall on people’s chronic back pain. It didn’t matter if you inserted the needle or superficially poked the skin.”
The study that Cherkin conducted was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In his study he assigned 638 men and women with chronic low back pain who never had acupuncture before to one of four groups.
- Individualized acupuncture group consisted of patients who received acupuncture treatment on a customized prescription for acupuncture points.
- Standardized acupuncture group were patients receiving treatment that was considered effective by experts for chronic low back pain.
- Stimulated acupuncture group were patients receiving treatment that mimics the acupuncture treatment. Instead of using needles, toothpicks were inserted in a needle guide tube without penetrating the skin.
- Usual care group consisted of patients that continued to take their usual treatment such as pain medicine or continuing their physical therapy.
The study is basically comparing acupuncture and the usual care. According to Cherkin, all three groups apart from the usual care group showed positive results. In fact they resulted with the same effects which were even better that the usual care group.
Researchers found that those getting acupuncture treatment were getting more meaningful improvements in their activities of daily living basically improving their dysfunction scale. In fact only 39% of the usual care group compared to 60% of the acupuncture treated patients has found improvement in their dysfunction scale.
The study conducted had shed some light that acupuncture can help on back pain treatment. For the most part acupuncture is very safe and Arya Nick Shamie MD, an associate professor of spine surgery at the University Of California David Geffen School Of Medicine, has been recommending it to his patients with chronic back pain. As a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, he added that the above-mentioned study shouldn’t confuse readers on how acupuncture works but it should at least show that acupuncture can truly help patients.
Although the group treated with toothpick for acupuncture back pain was a result of a placebo effect, Shamie says that, “Even going and talking to your doctor could have a strong, positive effect on your health. When people have chronic illness, they want to feel that someone cares for them, and that basically unloads the mind of the burden of disease.”
As a rule, before engaging in any forms of alternative medicine for chronic back pain, the condition should be duly evaluated by a specialist or a physician. It is after the rule that has to be followed for any underlying medical problems.