Acupuncture as complementary therapy for back pain

Holist Nurs Pract. 2001 Apr;15(3):35-44. doi: 10.1097/00004650-200104000-00008.


Back pain affects more than 9 million people in the United States and accounts for 25% of disability in all work-related injuries. It has a lifetime prevalence of 60%-90% and it costs more than $50 billion annually to manage back pain. The incidence of back pain in nurses is over 80% and accounts for more than 150 million working days per year being lost. Western treatment of back pain is controversial and often ineffective. Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is practiced widely in the United States. Research has demonstrated that acupuncture may benefit those who suffer from back pain when they have failed to respond to previous treatment by drugs, bed rest, epidural injection, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractics, and surgery. Acupuncture is a powerful and complementary therapy for back pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / nursing*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Back Pain / nursing
  • Back Pain / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Prevalence
  • United States