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Evidence

From an advertising point of view, I am obliged only to advertise the treatment of conditions where there is a very strong evidence base for the effectiveness of acupuncture. This is of course quite correct, as it could be easy to mislead patients. However, when it comes to getting evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture, there are significant difficulties.

It is very hard to do “blind” studies where a patient doesn’t know if they are having real acupuncture or sham acupuncture; it is harder still to do “double blind” studies where neither patient nor practitioner knows! Furthermore, there is great debate as to how placebo acupuncture can be done. Therefore getting strong evidence is quite hard.

There are many conditions where acupuncturists frequently see that some patients derive benefits, but where there is little proven evidence. In these types of conditions I always fully discuss the pros and cons of treatment, and advise as to what the evidence base is. You can then make up your mind as to whether you want to try acupuncture.

The following list shows those conditions for which the evidence base is very strong

  • Short term relief of tension type headache
  • Short term relief of migraine headache
  • Short term relief of chronic low back pain
  • Short term relief of neck pain or chronic neck pain
  • Short term relief from temporomandibular (TMD/TMJ) pain
  • Temporary adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain
  • Short term improvement of overactive bladder syndrome

If you are unsure as to whether acupuncture might help you please feel free to get in touch through the contact page.