According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 80 percent of the general population in the United States will suffer from low back pain sometime during their lifetime. Low back pain is the second most frequent reason Americans visit a medical doctor for treatment. It is also, according to a widely publicized study, the most frequent reason that Americans visit a licensed acupuncturist for care.
A German study on chronic low back pain showed that acupuncture works twice as well as standard care (Haake et al 2007). Standard care is defined as using drugs and physical therapy.
This was a double blinded randomized, controlled trial conducted in Germany involving 340 outpatient practices, including 1162 patients aged 18 to 86 years with a history of chronic low back pain for an average of 8 years. Patients underwent ten 30 minute sessions, usually 2 sessions per week, of acupuncture according to principles of traditional Chinese medicine; or conventional therapy, a combination of drugs, physical therapy, and exercise.
The conclusion of the study was that chronic low back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. The effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional therapy.
Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(17):1892-1898
If you suffer from back pain and live in Seattle, call us at 206-319-5322 today to set up your appointment for pain free health.
Chronic pain is an increasingly common ailment or condition and most often patients are suffering from lower back pain, general joint or arthritis pain or neck pain. It’s estimated that 26% of Americans suffer from chronic pain, compared to 7% that have diabetes, 6% with heart disease and less than 2% diagnosed with cancer. For those living with chronic pain, neck pain is the third most common cause, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Statistics.
There are many causes for neck pain. The Mayo Clinic has some great online resources and information about what can lead to neck pain, including muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, injuries and diseases.
Physicians and researchers have also been conducting studies to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain. The results have been compelling. A 2001 study showed that acupuncture was effective in relieving neck pain and improving range of motion. In a 2004 study, the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic neck pain was evaluated in 153 patients. Nearly 70% of those patients had a successful outcome from acupuncture, reporting an improvement in pain of at least 50%.
So, while having chronic neck pain can be…well, a pain in the neck, acupuncture can make a significant difference. A licensed acupuncturist or practitioner of TCM can help develop a plan that is customized for you and eases that ache.