Acupuncture: a GP's view

Do you prescribe acupuncture?  I don't prescribe it per se, but I refer patients for a physiotherapist assessment with the expectation that acupuncture will be offered to them. I can't refer directly via the NHS provision in my area, and it's variable across the UK. It's available in a limited way and is usually accessed via chronic pain clinics or some physiotherapists.
What for?  The only recommendation we've got at the moment is to refer patients with lower back pain. There are certainly some pain clinics that use it for all other forms of chronic pain. That said, many of my patients ask my advice because they're contemplating trying a course of acupuncture privately for other problems.
Would colleagues prescribe more readily than yourself?  A lot of doctors think it's worth giving acupuncture a go for any sort of chronic pain but the evidence base isn't there for anything outside of pain management. You'll find GPs who practise acupuncture themselves, for all manner of things, but conversely a lot of GPs are more wary than I am of referring patients for accupuncture.

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