Is acupuncture beneficial for the treatment of lower back pain?

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Abstract

EVIDENCE-BASED ANSWER

In ambulatory settings, acupuncture improves selfreported pain from chronic low back pain slightly to moderately more than conventional treatment or no treatment, but the differences compared with sham acupuncture are inconsistent. Acupuncture improves function more than no treatments and conventional treatments, and improves quality-of-life scores more than no treatment, conventional treatments, and sham treatment (SOR: B, inconsistent meta-analyses of RCTs). Individuals engaged in inpatient rehabilitation and acupuncture for chronic low back pain have slightly greater improvements in paresthesia, pain with sitting/standing, and pain with carrying loads than individuals engaged in rehabilitation alone (SOR: B, RCT).

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