Acupuncture for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: Largest ever Positive Dataset

An update of the 2012 study by the international Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration reinforces the evidence that acupuncture for chronic musculoskeletal pain is an effective intervention. The new meta-analysis included raw data from an additional 13 randomised trials, giving a total dataset of nearly 21 000 patients from 39 trials. Acupuncture was superior to sham and no-acupuncture control for all four chronic pain conditions assessed: back and neck pain, shoulder pain and chronic headache. Patients receiving acupuncture had less pain, and there was clear evidence that the benefits of acupuncture persist over time, with only a 15% decrease in treatment effect after one year.

(Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. The Journal of Pain, 30 November 2017.)