Australian authors have concluded that acupuncture is a cost-effective treatment strategy for patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP). The results of this meta-analysis showed a significant improvement in pain in those receiving acupuncture plus standard care compared with those receiving standard care alone. A non-significant positive effect was found for acupuncture plus standard care compared to sham acupuncture plus standard care. For acupuncture alone versus standard care alone, a significant positive effect was found at week eight, but not at weeks 26 or 52. Using WHO benchmarks, acupuncture was found to be highly cost-effective when used as a complement to standard care for the relief of CLBP. Acupuncture as a substitute for standard care was not found to be cost-effective unless comorbid depression was included. (Cost-effectiveness of Acupuncture for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain. Pain Pract. 2013 Oct 21. doi: 10.1111 /papr.12116. [Epub ahead of print]).

Comments closed.