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. For the research, hundreds of adults who suffered from chronic lower back pain were split into four groups.

One received an individual programme of acupuncture; one group standard therapy; a third group had a simulation of acupuncture using toothpicks; and the fourth group had the usual care.
After eight weeks, 60 per cent of those having some kind of acupuncture were much improved.

For those having conventional care, it was only 39 per cent. After a year, between 59 and 69 per cent of those treated with acupuncture reported improvements, compared to 50 per cent of those having usual care.

Researcher Dr Daniel Cherkin said all the varieties of acupuncture 'had beneficial and persisting effects on chronic back pain', when compared to usual treatment.

This makes acupuncture appear a promising option for chronic back pain, he explained.

Source - Daily Mail

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