Accupuncture for back pain

Topics: Acupuncture, Low back pain, Traditional Chinese medicine Pages: 6 (1891 words) Published: January 31, 2014
hospital pain-management clinic specialising in back pain A viability study for the proposed hiring of a trained acupuncture practitioner Prepared for:
Pain management clinic specialling in back pain

Prepared by:
Iain McKay
Executive Summary
The purpose of this report is to make argument both for and against acupuncture when treating back pain. Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves inserting needles into acupuncture point on the body to heal and treat different conditions. Their are risk involved with having acupuncture performed as with any medical treatment, but is a small risk when using a trained practitioner. Since 1970’s when western cultures became aware of acupuncture a number of different trials and reports have been compiled. Some are for and some are against. Some of these reports contain false positive which can give the wrong impression. One report found people with the right expectation acupuncture will have a positive outcomes. Some trials have found that acupuncture and sham acupuncture as having the same benefits. Sham acupuncture is using a tooth pick pushing on acupuncture points without penetrating the skin. Research has found acupuncture to be cost effective. We have concluded that acupuncture would help with pain management, if done by a trained practitioner. We also make a number of recommendations, should sham acupuncture be used?, location of the needles been inserted and the expectation of the patients.


Executive Summaryi
Introduction 1
What is acupuncture2
acupuncture for back pain5

Back pain in the western world is a big problem and in Australia is estimated to effect around 2.8 million people. This report will look at acupuncture as a treatment for back pain. The report will focus on its effectiveness in treating back pain, economical benefits of acupuncture and the risk involved with acupuncture. Information contained in the report is sourced from published journals, peer reviewed journals and government web sites. The report was commissioned by a hospital pain-management clinic specialising in back pain to determine if acupuncture would benefit there patients.

What is acupuncture
Acupuncture has been part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. The Chinese believe in a energy force called Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), which run along meridians throughout the body. If the flow of Qi in the meridians is disrupted, then disease or pain may follow. By inserting fine needles into particular acupuncture points and other techniques including: Cupping – suction designed to bring Qi and blood to the acupuncture point Chinese herbs – either mixed by the acupuncturist or in pre-prepared tablet or granulated form Laser – used instead of the needles to activate acupuncture points TCM remedial massage – techniques applied to specific acupuncture points or meridians Moxibustion – burning herbs held over or applied to acupuncture points In western countries the most common form is inserting needles. 1.1 Risks involed with acupuncture

With all medical treatment their is a risk involved. In 2010 the World Health Organization commissioned a report into Acupuncture-related adverse events: a systematic review of the Chinese literature. This report found that acupuncture is a safe treatment if done by trained practitioner. But their are still risk and some times even death in a number of cases. The report compares these risk as minor when you compare the number of people who receive acupuncture and the number of injuries. Additionally, there are fewer adverse effects associated with acupuncture than with many standard drug treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections. The most common problems with acupuncture in the hands of an unskilled practitioner, may lead to a number of problems including: Allergic reactions – herbs are...

References: Australian Government, Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, Year Book Australia, 2012: Health Status, viewed 25/9/2013,
Benedict Martin Wand, Sam Abbaszadeh, Anne Julia Smith, Mark Jon Catley & G Lorimer Moseley 2013, ‘Acupuncture applied as a sensory discrimination training tool decreases movement-related pain in patients with chronic low back pain more than acupuncture alone: a randomised cross-over experiment’, British Journal of Sports Medicine, viewed 20/9/2013,
Benno Brinkhaus, Claudia M. Witt, Susanne Jena, MSc; Klaus Linde, Andrea Streng, Stefan Wagenpfeil, Dominik Irnich, Heinz-Ulrich Walther, Dieter Melchart & Stefan N. Willich 2006, ‘Acupuncture in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial’, JAMA Internal Medicine, Vol.166, No. 4.
Claudia M. Witt, Susanne Jena, Dagmar Selim, Benno Brinkhaus, Thomas Reinhold, Katja Wruck , Bodo Liecker, Klaus Linde, Karl Wegscheider & Stefan N. Willich 2005, ‘Pragmatic Randomized Trial Evaluating the Clinical and Economic Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain’ American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 164, Issue 5 pp. 487-496.
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Harriet Hall 2011, ‘Acupuncture 's claims punctured: not proven effective for pain, not harmless’, Journal of the international Association for the Study of Pain, vol.152, pp.711-712.
Junhua Zhang, Hongcai Shang, Xiumei Gao & Edzard Ernst 2010, ‘Acupuncture-related adverse events: a systematic review of the Chinese literature’, Bulletin of the World health Organisation, August 2010.
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