Do you have clients with persistent back pain? A growing body of research continues to support acupuncture as an alternative pain-relief method without the risk of side effects common to pharmaceutical drugs. The largest acupuncture study to date has shown that treatments plus routine care ease chronic low-back pain. The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2006; 164 , 487–96), included more than 11,000 people with low-back pain in a randomized, controlled trial with a nonrandomized acupuncture group.
Researchers provided patients with either routine care alone or routine care plus acupuncture for up to 3 months and continued to observe subjects for an additional 3 months. By the end of the first 3 months, the acupuncture patients were experiencing much better back function, less pain and a higher quality of life than the other participants. Study authors noted that even though there was a fee for acupuncture, it was still deemed cost- effective, given the degree of improvement in patients’ back function.“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”
—Hippocrates, founder of Western medicine
(460 BC–377 BC), in Regimen in Health