Medical Conditions and Acupuncture Treatment Management

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Does Acupuncture Work?… Placebo?…

These questions have been asked thousands of times by researchers. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) explored whether acupuncture works and if acupuncture is a placebo. A review was conducted that compared usual medical care with placebo acupuncture and acupuncture. The review found that acupuncture was better than usual care and placebo acupuncture for pain from musculoskeletal conditions, knee arthritis and chronic headache. To find out more Watch the Video below.

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Chronic Pain

Research that investigated 18,000 people diagnosed as suffering from chronic neck pain, lower back pain, head or knee pain demonstrated that acupuncture can support the effectiveness of standard medical care by reducing chronic pain severity. The research involved reviewing 29 high-quality trials that investigated medical treatments that were prescribed to patients vs. acupuncture treatment. Medical treatment comparison included anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy. Findings demonstrate that acupuncture is a treatment option for people with chronic pain as acupuncture significantly reduced the number of headaches and migraine attacks. Acupuncture also reduced lower back pain and disability of osteoarthritis. This was said to contribute to patients being less reliant on medication to control pain.

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Research found that both acupuncture and counselling significantly reduced the severity of depressions, with benefits persisting for up to a year after treatment.

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Acupuncture Treatment Option

When a patient has received a diagnosis of chronic pain and or depression and is interested in an alternative treatment option acupuncture should form part of an informed and shared decision-making process.

If this option has not been presented to a patient suffering from chronic pain and the patient is considering their own options we advise the patient to contact us for further information.

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Acupuncture Scientific Evidence Continued

Evidence-Based Acupuncture aims to provide information about acupuncture’s scientific evidence. Particularly, as research studies involving acupuncture as a medical treatment for people has risen enormously and continues to do so.

Research methods range from systematic reviews on a topic, clinical trials, cohort studies or animal research. Questions asked by scientists about acupuncture include for example acupuncture’s impact on menopause, sleep, anxiety through to pregnancy.

An acupuncture evidence base summary was conducted by a team of researchers in Australia. They found that research identifies that there is currently evidence of a positive effect of acupuncture treatment for eight conditions.

A review of systematic reviews of acupuncture treatment identified evidence for a positive effect of acupuncture for medical conditions outlined below:

  • Acupuncture and allergic rhinitis
  • Acupuncture and chronic low back pain
  • Acupuncture and tension-type headache/chronic headaches
  • Acupuncture and osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Migraine prevention with acupuncture treatment
  • Postoperative pain management

A potential positive effect of acupuncture treatment was presented for other specific medical conditions:

  • Acupuncture for acute low back pain
  • Acupuncture and acute stroke/stroke rehabilitation
  • Anxiety treated with acupuncture
  • Insomnia treated with acupuncture
  • Irritable bowel syndrome treated with acupuncture
  • Acupuncture and labour pain
  • Acupuncture treatment for pain of the lateral elbow
  • Menopausal hot flashes treatment with acupuncture
  • Neck pain and acupuncture treatment
  • Obesity management with acupuncture
  • Plantar heel pain treatment with acupuncture
  • Sciatica treatment with acupuncture
  • Acupuncture treatment for shoulder pain
  • Temporomandibular pain

Please click here to be directed to the Evidence-Based Acupuncture Organisation. It is non-profit organisation, donations can be made direct

For further information please contact us.

Note* Research into acupuncture’s effectiveness or efficacy is growing rapidly. Lianne Aquilina aims to update information regarding the scientific status of acupuncture for a range of common conditions ongoingly. Scientific research requires a high level of critique, which requires skill and time. Please visit this page again or contact us if you have any questions. Individual case management in terms of research and clinical practice is provided to our patients ongoingly.


Lianne is a highly qualified and experienced acupuncture clinician. An acupuncture educator, visiting guest lecturer, and co-author of a bestselling international acupuncture textbook. Our patients can be assured of expertise and commitment towards your health outcome. Read more click here.


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