Skip to main content

Science Backs Acupuncture for Pain

Jul 24, 2019 ● By Peggy Malecki

Recent studies have shown acupuncture to be more effective than painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and physical therapy for relieving back pain in both short- and long-term cases. One study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed, “Those who got any of the acupuncture treatments were more likely than those getting usual care to have a ‘meaningful’ improvement in the dysfunction scale, which reflects the ability to engage in activities of daily living. Overall, 60 percent of the acupuncture-treated patients, but just 39 percent of the usual-care group patients, had meaningful improvements in dysfunction… those in the acupuncture group being able to do more daily activities such as going to social functions or performing household tasks.”

        Patients in the acupuncture group were still showing improvement up to one year after treatment. This is big news for those looking to get back to normal life after suffering from the debilitating effects of back pain.

        Even physicians at the Mayo Clinic are supporting acupuncture for back pain. A recent post to a question on the “Expert Answers” section of their website states, “When performed properly by trained practitioners, acupuncture has proved to be an effective therapy for back pain. Several studies have found that acupuncture can help reduce chronic back pain and improve daily function.”

        Another study review of 33 studies and more than 2,100 patients was performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center and found, “For people with chronic low back pain, this analysis shows that acupuncture is clearly effective in providing considerable pain relief… The research also showed that acupuncture provided true pain relief. The benefit was not just due to the placebo effect.”

        Oriental medicine theories are the same as they have been for 4,000 years, and medical research is providing contemporary scientific support.


Ryan Lombardo, DAOM, L.Ac., ABAAHP, BCIM, offers wellness consultations, acupuncture, supplement counseling and more at FreshSkin Medical Spa & Wellness Center, located at 595 Elm Place, Ste. 208, in Highland Park. For appointments and more information, call 847-681-8821 or visit