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Evid Based Nurs 9:111 doi:10.1136/ebn.9.4.111
  • Treatment

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?

METHODS

GraphicDesign:

randomised controlled trial (Acupuncture Randomised Trial in Low Back Pain).

GraphicAllocation:

concealed.

GraphicBlinding:

blinded (patients who received acupuncture and minimal acupuncture).

GraphicFollow up period:

8 weeks.

GraphicSetting:

30 private practices and hospital outpatient units in Germany.

GraphicPatients:

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; …

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