Acupuncture for lower back pain no more effective than 'sham treatment'
Health officials no longer recommend using acupuncture to manage lower back pain, having described the technique as "no better than a sham treatment."
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove that acupuncture is effective, following a review into guidance on dealing with lower back pain. The new recommendations state that massage and manipulation by physiotherapists should only be used alongside physical activity, and stress that sufferers should exercise.
Experts added that anti-inflammatories which do not contain steroids, such ibuprofen or aspirin, should be used to manage lower back pain. Weak opioids, including codeine, are now only recommended for use by those with acute pain.
The draft recommendations, which update guidance from 2009, have been published for consultation.