The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) established that acupuncture works for pain from musculoskeletal conditions, knee arthritis and chronic headache. To find out more watch the video below.
Research that investigated 18,000 people diagnosed with chronic neck pain, lower back pain, head or knee pain established, that acupuncture does improve the effectiveness of standard medical care by reducing chronic pain severity.
The research involved an analyses of 29 high-quality trials that investigated medical treatments and acupuncture treatment. Medical treatment comparisons included anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy.
Acupuncture is a treatment option for people with chronic pain as acupuncture significantly reduces the number of headaches and migraine attacks. Acupuncture also reduces lower back pain and disability of osteoarthritis. Findings also established that patients were less reliant on medication to control pain.
Research found that both acupuncture and counselling significantly reduced the severity of depressions, with benefits persisting for up to a year after treatment. Acupuncture is a treatment option for people suffering with moderate to severe depression.
National Institute Clinical Excellence
Acupuncture is recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the treatment management of Headaches in over 12s: diagnosis and management (CG150).
Acupuncture is recommended by NICE for the treatment management of Chronic pain (primary and secondary) in over 16s: assessment of all chronic pain and management of chronic primary pain (CG193).
Evidence Based Acupuncture
Evidence-Based Acupuncture provides information about acupuncture’s scientific evidence.
A summary of the evidence base for acupuncture conducted by a team of researchers in Australia found evidence of a positive effect of acupuncture treatment on medically diagnosed conditions:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Chronic low back pain
- Tension-type headache/chronic headaches
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Postoperative pain management
Potential of a positive effect:
- Acute low back pain
- Stroke rehabilitation
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Reduction of pain during labour
- Pain of the lateral elbow
- Menopausal hot flashes
- Neck pain
- Obesity management
- Plantar heel pain
- Shoulder pain
- Temporomandibular pain
Note: Lianne Aquilina aims to update information for the general public on the scientific status of acupuncture for a range of medically diagnosed conditions. Appraisal of scientific research requires a high level critique, which requires skill and time. Individual case management in terms of research and clinical practice is provided for our patients. Please visit this page again or Lianne’s blogs or contact us.
Lianne Aquilina Research Engagement Consultancy
Contact Lianne if you would like her to provide a research engagement consultancy service for health and care professions.
- Affiliations: Professional Standards Authority
- British Acupuncture Council Member