Acupuncture was better than no acupuncture but did not differ from minimal (sham) acupuncture for chronic low back pain at 8 weeks
Q In patients with chronic low back pain, is acupuncture better than minimal (sham) or no acupuncture for reducing pain?
randomised controlled trial (Acupuncture Randomised Trial in Low Back Pain).
blinded (patients who received acupuncture and minimal acupuncture).
Follow up period:
30 private practices and hospital outpatient units in Germany.
301 patients 40–75 years of age (mean age 59 y, 68% women) who had chronic low back pain for >6 months, mean pain intensity ⩾40 on a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS) in the previous 7 days, and used only oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the 4 weeks before treatment. Exclusion criteria were protrusion or prolapse of ⩾1 intervertebral disc and neurological symptoms; radicular pain; previous vertebral column surgery; infectious spondylopathy; spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis; low back pain caused by inflammatory, malignant, or autoimmune disease; congenital spine deformities; compression fracture caused by osteoporosis; spinal stenosis; …