Acupuncture for back pain

German researchers showed that acupuncture relieves back pain significantly better than combination of medications, physical therapy and exercise.  They enrolled over one thousand patients with chronic back pain in a study that compared traditional Chinese acupuncture (where acupuncture sites selected based on pulse diagnosis and other traditional methods and needles are placed along specific meridians on the body) with sham acupuncture (needle are placed superficially and outside the traditional points) and conventional approach.  It turns out that 10-15 sessions of both traditional and sham acupuncture treatments were better than conventional treatment, providing relief in 47.6%, 44.2% and 27.4% of patients respectively.  This large study clearly proves the efficacy of acupuncture in back pain, regardless of the acupuncture technique. Similar results have been found in headache patients. 

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