Researchers in the US have found that weekly acupuncture is associated with improvements in pain and quality of life, when included in the usual care of chronic pain patients in urban health centres. In a trial, 226 patients selected from four health centres in the Bronx, New York, began receiving acupuncture. Osteoarthritis, back and neck pain were usually the reason for referral to the trial. Patients were frequently older (mean age 54), receiving disability payments, in poor or fair overall health, and with high baseline pain levels.
Following a mean of 9.7 acupuncture treatments on a weekly basis, there was a significant improvement in pain severity and physical wellbeing at 12 and 24 weeks, compared to baseline levels.
(Outcomes of acupuncture for chronic pain in urban primary care. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Nov-Dec 2013.)