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Acupuncture for Back Pain
Acupuncture originates from China and has been practiced there for thousands of years in the care and treatment of back and neck pain. Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through the patient's skin at specific points on the body - the needles are inserted to various depths.
According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are located on meridians through which gi vital energy runs.
There is no histological, anatomical or scientific proof that these meridians or acupuncture points exist.
Acupuncture remains controversial among Western medical doctors and scientists.
Creating case studies that use proper scientific controls is difficult because of the invasive nature of acupuncture - a clinical study involves a placebo (sham product) compared to the targeted treatment.
It is very hard to devise a sham acupuncture control that one can compare to proper acupuncture. While some studies have concluded that acupuncture offers similar benefits to a patient as a placebo, others have indicated that there are some real benefits from using acupuncture in the treatment of back and neck pain.