Other reviews came to contradictory conclusions.

So, Prof. Ernst reviewed the reviews.

First, the details.

  • 30 review articles were included in the… review.
  • They covered the following rheumatic conditions: Fibromyalgia, low back pain, lateral elbow pain, musculoskeletal pain, orthopedic diseases, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, neck disorder, ankylosing spondylitis, and sciatica.

And, the results.

  • Relatively clear evidence suggests that acupuncture is effective treatment for the following conditions:
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Low back pain
    • Lateral elbow pain
  • Acupuncture is ineffective for the following conditions:
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

The bottom line?

Prof. Ernst and his coauthor concluded that for osteoarthritis, low back pain, and lateral elbow pain “the evidence is sufficiently sound to warrant positive recommendations of this therapy in routine care.”

7/5/10 21:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.