Study examines effectiveness of acupuncture - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/11/09

Study examines effectiveness of acupuncture

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Acupuncture is a treatment for lower back pain, but it may just be the idea of the alternative therapy that does the trick.  Researchers in Seattle studied over 600 adults who had chronic low back pain and had never had acupuncture. The participants were divided into four groups: one received standard medical care, two other groups underwent acupuncture with needles in certain pressure points, and another had simulated acupuncture. The group that underwent the simulated acupuncture, researchers used toothpicks instead of needles.

They found that 60% of the participants receiving acupuncture had improved functioning and less pain, compared to 39% of those on standard care.  However, there was no difference between the acupuncture groups, leading researchers to question the mechanism behind acupuncture's success.  Researchers say acupuncture appears to be a safe and effective treatment for low back pain, even though they don't know exactly how it works.

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