To assess acupuncture's effectiveness for treating low back pain randomized,
controlled trials were identified comparing needle acupuncture with
sham acupuncture, other sham treatments, no additional treatment, or
another active treatment for patients with low back pain.
The 33 randomized, controlled trials grouped according to acute or chronic
pain, style of acupuncture, and type of control group used. For the
primary outcome of short-term relief of chronic pain, the meta-analyses
showed that acupuncture is significantly more effective than sham treatment
and no additional treatment. Acupuncture effectively relieves chronic
low back pain. No evidence suggests that acupuncture is more effective
than other active therapies. Manheimer E, White A, Berman B, et al.
Annals of Internal Medicine. 142(8): 651-663, 2005.