For people receiving health care for low back pain, symptoms will improve significantly in the first six weeks, but pain may linger even after one year, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Acupuncture for low back pain offers short-term decrease in pain; however, benefits increase in the long-term over a period of consecutive treatments.Researchers from Australia and Brazil examined data from 33 studies (11,166 participants) to understand the clinical course of pain and disability in people receiving care for low back pain. “The typical course of low back pain is initially favorable; there is a marked reduction in pain and disability in the first six weeks,” says Christopher Maher, M.D., of the University of Sydney, Australia. “Beyond six weeks, improvement slows and thereafter only small reductions in pain and disability are apparent up to one year.”
At one year, the patients who initially presented with acute low back pain still experienced some pain and disability but it was minimal; the typical improvement in pain intensity was about 90 percent. In contrast, those who initially presented with chronic low back pain experienced moderate levels of pain and disability at one year; the typical improvement in their pain was only about 50 percent.
Acupuncture can be integrated into health care management of acute and chronic low back pain as either a primary or complementary therapy. Contact Dean at Richmond for further information on acupuncture and back pain.