This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Report this comment to a moderator

Please fill in the form below if you think a comment is unsuitable. Your comments will be sent to our moderator for review.

Report comment to moderator

Required fields.


NICE dramatically reduces drug options for low back pain


theres something a bit off here. Are there really some meta-analyses of double blind placebo-controlled trials of exercise for low back pain - or is the evidence used of that low level type that is deemed inadmissible for the acceptance of acupuncture? There should be a level evidential playing field. In clinical practice the choice is not between a real treatment and a placebo it is between different real options. Pragmatic RCTs (many) have compared various standard biomedical treatments for back pain with acupuncture and found acupuncture superior. The nature of placebo controlled RCTs means that the great majority of biomedical treatments are also little or no better than placebo. The evidence suggests that acupuncture is effective as a treatment for the majority of patients.the large GERAC trials concluded that "Our researches “indicate that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of migraine, tension type headache, osteoarthritis of the knee and chronic low back pain. For the latter two indications acupuncture showed an even higher success rate than conventional standard treatment. In migraine acupuncture showed an effect comparable to pharmacological treatment.” (Backer, Tao & Dobos in Deutsch Med. Wochenschrift 2006; 131;506-11) a great number of other trials have also indicated significant benefit in roughly 70% of patients. Also, it is much safer that NSAIDs or Paracetemol or surgical interventions.

Posted date

24 Mar 2016

Posted time