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Although we normally stay away from medical literature reviews, we thought this one was too good to pass up:

 WebMD reports a study funded by the National Institutes for Health and done by Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle that not only found acupuncture successful at treating back pain, but also found it more effective than conventional care using medications and physical therapy!

In the study, 638 men and women suffering from chronic lower back pain were divided into four groups:

  • One group received a customized acupuncture treatment (that means points were chosen specifically for that person).

  • The second group received a standardized acupuncture treatment (everyone in the group got the same points).

  • The third group received a sham acupuncture treatment that used toothpicks that didn't break the skin.

  • The four group continued more conventional treatment (drugs and physical therapy).


The results of the test were that the three groups that received some form of acupuncture, even of the sham variety, had better outcomes than the fourth group that continued with standard treatment.

60 percent of the acupuncture patients showed significant improvements that involved being able to pursue daily activities. Only 39 percent of the conventional treatment patients had the same results.

Even better, The gap between improvements continued after a year, with 65 percent of the acupuncture patients reporting continued improvement and 50 percent of the conventional care patients.

Whether the effects of acupuncture has some sort of physical phenomenon, such as releasing endorphins or suppressing pain receptors, or whether the effect is psychological or a combination of the two is rather beside the point. The Seattle study is just one of many that suggests that acupuncture works better against back pain than does standard treatments that uses medication and physical therapy.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our ever-expanding resource library, or bdetter yet... get the free ebook!

city acupuncture treat low back pain

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