Minimal acupuncture is easily incorporated into primary care consultations, but there is no rigorous evidence of its effectiveness. In a cohort study, minimal acupuncture was given to 32 patients with acute neck pain. Neck pain scores, measured by the Northwick Park Neck Pain questionnaire, fell from an average of 12.1 (±5.4) before treatment to 4.8 (±5.6) at 3 months (p<0.00l). Three months after acupuncture treatment 76% of patients reported themselves “much better”. Out of 18 patients who had had pain lasting less than 2 weeks, 16 required only one treatment. These results suggest that minimal acupuncture may be an effective treatment for neck pain and further definitive studies are recommended.
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