Suffering from headaches, back pain or both? A new study conducted by researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York shows acupuncture outperformed both placebo and conventional pain therapies. They published the study results in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The findings “provide the most robust evidence to date that acupuncture is a reasonable referral option,” the authors wrote in the article.
The research, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, had researchers conduct a meta-analysis of data from 29 prior studies involving nearly 18,000 adults, according to an article in The Sunday Leader.
The original studies were done with patients reporting chronic pain from a variety of issues, including neck, shoulder and back pain, arthritis, and recurring headaches. Participants in each study were randomly assigned to treatment with acupuncture, standard treatments such as drugs and physical therapy, or fake acupuncture, which inserted needles at points other than the traditional meridians, the report stated.
Using a scale from zero to 100, the average participant’s pain measured 60 before anything was tested on them. Conventional methods brought the pain down to 43, fake acupuncture brought it down to 35, and the actual acupuncture dropped pain to 30, according to the research.