Acupuncture treatment of low back pain

Schmitt H, Zhao JQ, Brocai DR, Kaps HP.

Abteilung Orthopadie I, Stiftung Orthopadische Universitatsklinik Heidelberg. Holger.schmitt@ok.uni-heidelberg.de

OBJECTIVES: This prospective, non-controlled pilot-study examines the potential benefit of acupuncture in patients with low back pain and radicular symptoms. METHODS: 60 patients with low back pain and lumbar disc herniation diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography were treated by acupuncture. Pain intensity was assessed before and after treatment on a 100 mm visual analogue scale. RESULTS: Intensity of low back pain dropped from 59 to 19 mm, and intensity of radicular pain from 64 to 12 mm. Three to twelve months after the end of acupuncture, 88% of patients were satisfied with treatment outcome. CONCLUSION: Acupuncture as a noninvasive treatment with very few complications is a promising therapeutical option of low back pain, especially when associated with radicular symptoms.

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