Objective Response of Chinese acupuncture compared to conservative orthopaedic treatment and unspecific needling in pain treatment on CSP.
Design Prospective, randomized controlled trial with three blinded parallel groups; follow up three months.
Setting Outpatients of 26 orthopaedists, who have attended a 140 hours training course on acupuncture.
Patients Four hundred and twenty seven out-patients with a history of CSP ≥ six weeks, VAS ≥ 50 mm were selected; three random groups, six weeks treatment. 308 patients reported after three months follow up. Two strata: age 25–45 and age 46–65.
Interventions Group 1: VAP: 15 treatments of verum acupuncture (VAP). Group 2: SHM: 15 treatments of non-specific needling, sham acupuncture (SHM). Group 3: COT: conventional conservative orthopaedic treatment (COT). Patients were blinded to allocation between verum and sham acupuncture.
Main Outcome Measures Primary endpoint: pain reduction ≥ 50% on VAS three months after the end of the treatment protocol. Secondary endpoints: global assessments on a 4-score scale directly after the end of the treatment protocol.
Results The results after three months follow up are: Highly significant effect of CAP over SHM and COT in the whole sample (P<0.0001) and in Stratum1 (P<0.001) and Stratum2 (P<0.001).
Conclusions Acupuncture is an important supplement in the management of CSP.
BMBF grant: 01KT9411/9
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