Suffering from low back pain? Acupuncture might be a better option than conventional medication, physical therapy and exercise, according to a new study.
"Our study, which directly compared the conventional, non-surgical treatments with acupuncture, showed that patients who were treated with acupuncture over a period of about six weeks experienced nearly 50 per cent decrease in pain intensity, while those treated with physical therapy and other conventional treatments over a period of six weeks had less than 25 per cent improvement," Heinz Endres, one of the authors, told CBCNews.ca.
The findings are published in the Sept. 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
German researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial involving 1,162 patients, with an average age of 50, that had suffered chronic low back pain for approximately eight years.
Study participants were broken into several groups. One group of 387 patients underwent 10, 30-minute sessions of verum acupuncture, which consisted of inserting needles into fixed points to a depth of five millimetres to 40 millimetres, based on traditional Chinese medicine.