When it comes to dealing with back pain, especially the day in, day out chronic kind, people seek relief in many types of alternative methods. Many turn to the East and experiment with the needles of acupuncture.
Two recent studies provide some interesting insight into this alternative treatment. A recent German study found that acupuncture treatments helped ease the pain of 47% of participants and the effects lasted through the long term. Another recent study found that random needling, meaning needles were placed in areas not recognized by Traditional Chinese Medicine as "points" for back pain relief, was nearly as effective. Forty-four percent of participants in a study performed by the Archives of Internal Medicine found long term relief after "fake" treatments. Both real acupuncture and fake acupuncture out performed conventional treatments, mostly medication, used in Western medicine. Only 27 percent of those participants using standard medical care experienced relief from the pain.
One theory is that pain messages to the brain might be blocked by the competing stimuli of the needles. Another theory is the "placebo" effect. People believe that acupuncture will help their back pain, but have little faith in Western medicine when it comes to relief.
How about you? Have you ever used acupuncture to treat pain? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.