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Efficacy and Safety of Acupuncture for Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain is very common. This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of acupuncture vs. transcutaneous nerve stimulation-placebo (TENS-placebo) in the treatment of chronic uncomplicated neck pain. Two parallel groups of 123 patients were randomly assigned. These patients had been diagnosed with neck pain and experienced neck motion-related pain intensity equal to or greater than 30 on a visual analogue scale (VAS) 0 - 100 mm. The treatment with acupuncture was compared with TENS-placebo and applied in 5 sessions over three weeks.

Pain relief was greater in the acupuncture group. Improvements in quality of life (physical aspect), neck mobility, and reduced use of rescue medication were significant. The researchers concluded that in the treatment of chronic neck pain acupuncture was more effective than the placebo and is safe for routine use in medical practice. Vas J, Perea-Milla E, Mendez C, Sanchez Navarro C, Leon Rubio JM, Brioso M, Garcia Obrero I. Adapted from Pain. 2007 May;129(1-2):210-23.



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