Effect of electroacupuncture on chronic low back pain

Takeaway

  • Electroacupuncture did not significantly reduce the pain scores in individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP) but it resulted in statistically and clinically greater reduction in back pain-specific disability compared with placebo (sham electroacupuncture treatment).

Why this matters

  • Current evidence shows similar effects of manual acupuncture and placebo on CLBP but studies evaluating electroacupuncture in CLBP are limited.

  • Identifying factors associated with clinical response to electroacupuncture is important for triaging and implementation of acupuncture.

  • According to the authors, this is the first randomized controlled trial to demonstrate statistically and clinically significant effect of electroacupuncture on back pain-specific disability.