Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Acupuncture Relieves Low Back Pain And Is Cost-effective, Study Finds

Date:
September 15, 2006
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Acupuncture has a small but significant benefit for patients with low back pain, and appears to be cost-effective in the longer term, find two studies published on bmj.com today.

Acupuncture has a small but significant benefit for patients with low back pain, and appears to be cost-effective in the longer term, find two studies published on bmj.com today.

Related Articles


In the UK, an estimated 16% of the adult population consult their general practitioner for help with back pain in a 12-month period. The annual cost of lower back pain to the NHS has been estimated at £480 million (€703million; $901million) and the burden of lower back pain is estimated at over £10 billion per year in terms of lost productivity and sickness benefits.

Acupuncture is used by an estimated 2% of adults each year for a range of conditions, including back pain. But the evidence is largely inconclusive and the best way to manage low back pain remains unclear.

So, researchers identified 241 adults aged 18 to 65 with persistent non-specific low back pain. The people were provided by members of the British Acupuncture Council. Patients were randomly assigned to either usual NHS care or up to 10 acupuncture treatment sessions. All patients remained under GP care.

Pain levels were measured at intervals during the two-year study period. Satisfaction with treatment and use of pain medication were also recorded.

At 12 months, patients in the acupuncture group showed a small benefit in pain scores compared to patients receiving usual care. Stronger evidence was observed for an increased benefit at 24 months.

At three months, patients in the acupuncture group were significantly more likely to be 'very satisfied' with their treatment compared with usual care, and with their overall care, but showed no such difference in satisfaction with information received.

At 24 months, the acupuncture group were more likely to report reduced worry about their back pain, less likely to report current use of pain medication for their back, and more likely to report no pain for the past 12 months.

Although the differences in pain scores between groups were small, they represent a clinically worthwhile benefit and can be viewed as a 'moderate' effect, say the authors.

Further research is needed to investigate the optimum timing for such an acupuncture treatment package, and to assess the value of repeated courses of acupuncture for patients experiencing recurrent episodes of low back pain, they conclude.

In a separate paper, the same researchers looked at the cost effectiveness of acupuncture for lower back pain. Costs were measured from both an NHS and a societal perspective, and effectiveness was measured in terms of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained.

They found that total NHS costs during the two-year study period were higher on average for the acupuncture group (£460; €673; $859) than for the usual care group (£345; €506; $644).

However, the cost per QALY gained was £4,241 (€6,223; $7,921). This is well below the lower threshold of £20,000 used by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to decide whether the NHS can afford to pay for a health technology.

A short course of traditional acupuncture for the treatment of lower back pain in primary care confers a modest health benefit measured in QALYs for a relatively minor extra NHS cost relative to usual care, say the authors. The use of acupuncture for the treatment of lower back pain therefore appears to be cost-effective in the longer term.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Acupuncture Relieves Low Back Pain And Is Cost-effective, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915102553.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2006, September 15). Acupuncture Relieves Low Back Pain And Is Cost-effective, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915102553.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Acupuncture Relieves Low Back Pain And Is Cost-effective, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060915102553.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins