Objective: To systematically review the current status of application of acupuncture in low back pain guidelines.
Methods: The computer retrieval was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMbase, China Journal Full Text Database (CNKI), China Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), VIP, Wanfang, guidelines databases, and the official websites of WHO and academic organizations (American Pain Society, American College of Physicians, etc.). After screening, the basic information and acupuncture-related issues in the guidelines that met the inclusion criteria were extracted and compared by using Excel software.
Results: A total of 35 low back pain guidelines were included. ① One guideline was published before 2000, 16 guidelines were published from 2000 to 2010, and 18 guidelines were published from 2011 to 2017; 17 guidelines were published by the United States, 4 by Canada and China, 2 by New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Europe, and 1 by Netherlands, Philippines, Denmark and Italy. ② Twenty-three guidelines were evidence-based guidelines, which was developed mainly by system review, meta-analysis and expert consultation, involving diagnosis, treatment, primary care of low back pain. ③ Acupuncture was mentioned in 23 guidelines, of them, 7 guidelines recommended acupuncture, 6 guidelines indicated that acupuncture might be considered under certain conditions such as combined with other therapies or patients were interested in acupuncture, however, 10 guidelines did not recommended acupuncture for low back pain.
Conclusion: The guidelines of low back pain are mainly developed by Europe countries and the United States, and the majority is published in the last 20 years. Among them, 20% of the guidelines have recommend acupuncture for low back pain.
Keywords: acupuncture; current status of application; guidelines; low back pain.