Acupuncture Shows More Promise for Back Pain than Standard Medical Care
by Dr. Jay Sordean
Read Acupuncture Shows More Promise for Back Pain than Standard Medical Care by Dr. Jay Sordean to learn more about The Redwood Clinic and our Acupuncture office in Berkeley, CA.
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Back pain and just what to do about it has been the subject of much discussion and study in recent years. Now a new study confirms that Acupuncture and even simulated Acupuncture, performed using a variety of techniques, is superior to only using standard medical treatment to reduce the discomfort caused by chronic low back pain.
Researchers at the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Wash., enlisted 638 adults into their study. None of these individuals had previously received Acupuncture. All said that their pain fell into the bothersome or higher category. Each rated their pain at a 3 or greater on a scale of 0 to 10.
Four groups were then established to receive a different type of treatment. Each of three Acupuncture groups received standard medical care along with their individualized treatments. The first group received a customized Acupuncture prescription from a diagnostician. The second group received standardized treatment following a prescription typically used to treat low back pain. Those in the third group received only simulated Acupuncture, which mimics needling but no penetration of the skin is achieved. The fourth group of participants received only standard medical care.
All of the Acupuncture patients were treated twice weekly for 3 weeks. For the following 4 weeks, their treatments were reduced to once per week. Follow-up questioning was done with each person at 8, 26 and 52 weeks to measure back-related dysfunction and to rate how bothersome the symptoms seemed to each person.
In each case the treatments involving Acupuncture provided better results than those achieved by the standard medical treatment group. “Because of the lack of highly effective medical treatments for chronic low back pain, we were pleased to find that Acupuncture-like treatments were helpful for persons suffering from chronic back pain,” said study leader Daniel Cherkin, PhD. The results of this study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In another recent study regarding the type of treatments that help low back pain sufferers, Acupuncture again fared very well. In a study done by Consumer Reports involving more than 14,000 persons with low back pain, 53 percent of persons who received Acupuncture treatment were very satisfied with their results. In that study, only 34 percent of the persons who received standard medical care from a primary physician were pleased with their results.
Hopefully the results of these and more studies will lead more and more Americans to seek Acupuncture and other alternative treatments where true help for their conditions might be found. Acupuncture has a 5,000 year history of providing successful treatments for numerous ills worldwide. One day, America may wake up to the fact that modern medicine is not all it is cracked up to be and that alternative means, like Acupuncture, can put them on the path to healing and improved health.
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