Research appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2006; 166(4)) looked at the efficacy of acupuncture treatment on low back pain. Nearly 300 subjects suffering from chronic low back pain were divided into three groups. One group received acupuncture treatment (12 sessions over a period of eight weeks). One group received superficial needling at non-acupuncture points. A third group was placed on a waiting list as a control. All subjects completed pain questionnaires at the beginning of the study. Questionnaires were filled out at the end of treatment (eight weeks), at 26 weeks and at 52 weeks. Pain was evaluated on a visual analog scale (0-100 mm). At the end of treatment, he mean reduction of pain in the acupuncture group was 28.7 mm, compared to 6.9 mm in the control group. The group receiving superficial needling had an improvement of 23.6 mm.
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