November 28, 2010

Acupuncture in London-Acupuncture Research Resources Vol.III

Acupuncture for back pain - the evidence: from NICE to NEJM

You may have heard that NICE recommends acupuncture as the treatment choice for persistent low back pain.

So what is NICE and why are they being so nice?

NICE is The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), an independent body which job it is to provide guidelines to the NHS (the National Health Service in the UK) on the use of treatments and care of patients. The reason they are backing acupuncture for the first time is firstly and most importantly because it works, and secondly because its cost effective. Simples...

In the same statement NICE also: "advises against injections into the back or taking an X-ray of the lumbar spine for non-specific low back pain." So please think twice before you opt for cortisone injections into your back and consult with your GP and your Specialist to make sure it is the appropriate treatment for your condition.  

What this means for you is, if you live in the UK and suffer from low back pain, and you haven't given acupuncture a try for your back pain yet, now is the time! 

You could even try and ask your GP, on that basis, if they would consider referring you and/or paying (your GP holds the CAM budget for the surgery's patients) for your course of acupuncture treatment. They might not but it doesn't hurt to ask, and remember to mention NICE guidelines :)

This guideline will be up for review in 2012 so its up to us (patients and acupuncturists) to prove that NICE made the right decision last year and continues to back acupuncture as a treatment choice for back pain, and maybe that will open their eyes to back acupuncture treatment for other conditions as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment