A Chinese research group has found that acupuncture at Hegu L.I.-4 is significantly more effective for the treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP) than standardised acupuncture, especially in the long term. A total of 187 patients with CLBP were randomised to ‘Hegu acupuncture’, standardised acupuncture or usual care. All received 18 treatments over seven weeks. The results showed that both acupuncture modes were beneficial compared with usual care. Disability scores at eight weeks were 5.3 for Hegu acupuncture, 4.2 for standardised acupuncture and 2.1 for usual care. At 48 weeks, the scores were 5.7 for Hegu acupuncture, 4.6 for standardised acupuncture and 3.3 for usual care. Differences in visual analogue pain scores showed a similar pattern. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the two acupuncture groups in favour of Hegu acupuncture, as well as between usual care and both acupuncture groups, in favour of acupuncture. (Hegu acupuncture for chronic low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Feb;18(2):130-6).

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