For years, many experts in the scientific community have believed that acupuncture’s ability to provide pain relief to backache and headache sufferers was explained by the placebo effect. A new study has concluded that regardless of whether or not the placebo effect fully explains acupuncture’s effectiveness, the relief that patients experience is real and quantifiable.
The study was built on an analysis of 29 different case studies involving a total of almost 18,000 adult participants. Those who received acupuncture treatments reported higher rates of symptom relief than those who treated their pain with medications. Real acupuncture also outperformed fake acupuncture in the analysis, which suggests the placebo effect isn’t the only explanation for the relief patients experienced.
While the study was not exhaustive or definitively conclusive, its leaders claimed that their findings provide the best evidence to date that acupuncture is, at the very least, a good referral option for back pain and headache sufferers.
Dr. Andrew Alvins offers his opinion on what the study’s findings suggest. “Perhaps a more productive strategy at this point would be to provide whatever benefits we can for our patients, while we continue to explore more carefully all mechanisms of healing,” he writes.
Do you think Acupuncture is an effective way of treating headaches and back pain?
Source: Vancouver Sun