The latest NICE guideline on treatment of chronic pain, recommends acupuncture, exercise or psychological therapies, as non-pharmacological approaches to managing chronic primary pain. By contrast, paracetamol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and opioids, are not recommended.
The NICE committee which devised the guideline acknowledged that there is now a large evidence base for acupuncture’s short term effectiveness. They cited 27 studies showing it reduced pain and improved quality of life for up to three months.
(Chronic pain (primary & secondary) in over 16s: assessment of all chronic pain & management of chronic primary pain. NICE guideline [NG193], 7 April 2021.)