Posted by: Tony Carson | 25 September, 2007

Needles ‘are best for back pain’

Acupuncture – real or sham – is more effective at treating back pain than conventional therapies, research suggests.

A German team found almost half the patients treated with acupuncture felt pain relief.

But the Archives of Internal Medicine study also suggests fake acupuncture works nearly as well as the real thing.

In contrast, only about a quarter who received drugs and other Western therapies felt better.

The researchers, from the Ruhr University Bochum, say their findings suggest that the body may react positively to any thin needle prick – or that acupuncture may simply trigger a placebo effect.

One theory is that pain messages to the brain can be blocked by competing stimuli.

Researcher Dr Heinz Endres said: “Acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain.

“Patients experienced not only reduced pain intensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain and therefore in their quality of life.”

The BBC article is here: Needles ‘are best for back pain’

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Responses

  1. Interesting article – I was especially intrigued by the statement that fake acupuncture works nearly as well as real.

  2. […] Tony Carson wrote a fantastic post today on “Needles ‘are best for back pain’”Here’s ONLY a quick extractAcupuncture – real or sham – is more effective at treating back pain than conventional therapies, research suggests. A German team found almost half the patients treated with acupuncture felt pain relief. … […]


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