25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Neck Pain

Acupuncture-related lifestyle advice helps patients with chronic neck pain improve the way they care for themselves and is associated with reductions in pain and disability. In a three-armed, randomised trial, British researchers randomly allocated 517 patients to received acupuncture (up to 12 sessions), Alexander technique or usual care. For each acupuncture patient, practitioners were encouraged to practice as closely as closely as possible to how they routinely would, and to provide treatment that included an acupuncture-related diagnosis and associated lifestyle advice. Lifestyle advice was found to be provided by practitioners to 84% of patients, and was most commonly related to exercise, relaxation, diet, rest and work. Compared with those receiving usual care alone, the authors found that patients in the acupuncture group made more lifestyle changes and improved their ability to reduce their neck pain without resorting to medication. These characteristics of the acupuncture group were found to be associated with significant reductions in pain and disability scores at 12 months. The authors conclude that lifestyle advice based on acupuncture theory leads to active patient engagement, which in turn is an important contributor to overall treatment benefits over the long-term.
Lifestyle Advice and Self-Care Integral to Acupuncture Treatment for Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: Secondary Analysis of Outcomes Within a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Mar;23(3):180-187.