Acupuncture for low back pain: an overview of systematic reviews.

Lizhou Liu, Margot Skinner, S M McDonough, Leon Mabire, George David Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. As evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture for low back pain (LBP) is inconsistent, we aimed to critically appraise the evidence from relevant systematic reviews. Methods. Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concerning acupuncture and LBP were searched in seven databases. Internal validity and external validity of systematic reviews were assessed. Systematic reviews were categorized and high quality reviews assigned greater weightings. Conclusions were generated from a narrative synthesis of the outcomes of subgroup comparisons. Results. Sixteen systematic reviews were appraised. Overall, the methodological quality was low and external validity weak. For acute LBP, evidence that acupuncture has a more favorable effect than sham acupuncture in relieving pain was inconsistent; it had a similar effect on improving function. For chronic LBP, evidence consistently demonstrated that acupuncture provides short-term clinically relevant benefits for pain relief and functional improvement compared with no treatment or acupuncture plus another conventional intervention. Conclusion. Systematic reviews of variable quality showed that acupuncture, either used in isolation or as an adjunct to conventional therapy, provides short-term improvements in pain and function for chronic LBP. More efforts are needed to improve both internal and external validity of systematic reviews and RCTs in this area.
LanguageEnglish
Pages328196
JournalEvidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM
Volume2015
Early online date4 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2015

Fingerprint

Acupuncture
Low Back Pain
Randomized Controlled Trials
Acupuncture Therapy
Pain
Chronic Pain
Databases

Keywords

  • acupuncture
  • low back pain
  • overview of systematic reviews

Cite this

Liu, Lizhou ; Skinner, Margot ; McDonough, S M ; Mabire, Leon ; Baxter, George David. / Acupuncture for low back pain: an overview of systematic reviews. In: Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2015 ; Vol. 2015. pp. 328196.
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Acupuncture for low back pain: an overview of systematic reviews. / Liu, Lizhou; Skinner, Margot; McDonough, S M; Mabire, Leon; Baxter, George David.

In: Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, Vol. 2015, 04.03.2015, p. 328196.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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