Acupuncture has a 'significant' effect on patients with mystery symptoms - and could be added to the list of available treatments for undiagnosed health problems, research shows. One in five patients has symptoms which are undiagnosed by medicine, and the cost of treating them is twice that as of a diagnosed patient.
A team from the University of Exeter examined 80 patients, and investigated the benefit of acupuncture being added to their usual care. After the first trial of its type, researchers say those who underwent acupuncture showed 'a significant and sustained benefit' and add that the treatment could be safely added to the list of possible therapies.
Of the 80 patients, nearly 60 per cent reported musculoskeletal problems, and in the three months prior to the experiment had accounted for treatment including 44 hospital visits, 52 hospital clinic visits, 106 outpatient clinic visits and 75 visits to non NHS workers. Half were treated with acupuncture for 26 weeks with the other acting as a control group, reports the British Journal of General Practice.