Acupuncture Good Choice for Chronic Neck PainOver 3,000 patients participated in this study on the use of acupuncture for chronic neck pain. Patients were divided into two groups. The acupuncture group received routine medical care and 10 to 15 acupuncture treatments. The control group received just routine care for three months. They could have acupuncture at the end of that time.
Pain, function, and quality of life were used as measures of effectiveness. The cost between the two groups was the main comparison. The study was done in Germany where acupuncture is mainly done by physicians.
The results showed that acupuncture costs more than routine care. It was also more effective. The acupuncture group also had lower medication costs. The authors suggest that acupuncture treatment for more than three months would not be as cost-effective.
For short-term care, acupuncture is an option to consider for patients with chronic neck pain.
Stefan N. Willich, et al. Cost-effectiveness of Acupuncture Treatment in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain. In Pain. November 2006. Vol. 125. No. 1-2. Pp.107-113.
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