As a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, it is always nice to come across articles and studies presented by the Western medicine community. Below I’ve reproduced a February 22, 2017 article from the American College of Physicians regarding treatment of low back pain which includes acupuncture as part of their guidelines. Acupuncture is referenced as an effective treatment protocol for treating low-back pain and a better treatment protocol than the traditional OTC medications most people use. If you have never tried acupuncture for back pain, take the advice of the American College of Physicians and give it a try. Continue reading…
The American College of Physicians (ACP) has issued new recommendations for treating low back pain that recommend massage and acupuncture over drugs. Low back pain is the 5th most common reason for doctor visits by Americans, with about a quarter of all US adults reporting low back pain in the past 3 months alone.
The evidence-based clinical practice guideline, published on April 4, 2017 recommends massage, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and other non-pharmacologic treatments as the first treatments of choice for low back pain, suggesting drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen only if initial non-drug treatments don’t work. The prescription of stronger drugs is discouraged unless all other options have failed.
“Physicians should reassure their patients that acute and subacute low back pain usually improves over time regardless of treatment,” said Nitin S. Damle, MD, MS, MACP, president of the ACP. “Physicians should avoid prescribing unnecessary tests and costly and potentially harmful drugs, especially narcotics, for these patients.”
Acetaminophen was strongly recommended as a first-line medication in ACP’s 2007 guidelines, but evidence collected over the past decade reverses that recommendation. No difference was found between acetaminophen and placebo for either reduction of pain or improvement of function over the course of a month. This reflects recent findings from double-blind controlled trials such as an Australian study conducted over 4 years by Williams, Maher, Latimer, et al. Aspirin and other NSAIDs resulted in only a small improvement. In general, in this new study, Western medical tests and treatments for low back pain were found to be highly variable, inexplicable, and sometimes expensive, but most resulted in similar outcomes. The 2007 guideline did not even assess some non-pharmacologic options such as mindfulness-based stress reduction and tai chi.
Learn if Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be of help to you! Call The Ommani Center today (262.695.5311) to schedule an appointment with our acupuncturist, Aimee Brown, LAc, MSOM.