There is evidence that acupuncture may be of benefit to chronic sciatica sufferers even when they have failed to respond to previous treatment by drugs, bedrest, epidural injection, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and surgery. The benefits that have been reported in small scale studies include: reduction in medication, better return to work figures and a decrease in the need for more invasive forms of treatment including surgery The case for the efficacy of acupuncture in acute pain is weaker, but it may be that the poor methodology of the acute pain studies was to blame. Guidelines for more appropriate trial design are suggested.
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