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February 2021

How traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturists would diagnose and treat chronic low back pain: results of a survey of licensed acupuncturists in Washington State

Author(s): Hogeboom, C., Cherkin, D.

Journal/Book: Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2001; 9/3: 146-153.

Abstract: Objectives: This survey was undertaken to learn how Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturists' diagnose and treat patients with chronic low back pain in order to develop a standardized treatment for a clinical trial of that condition. Design: We surveyed a randomly selected group of 56 acupuncturists in Washington State, USA about styles of acupuncture they used for treating chronic low back pain, diagnoses made, and key features of treatment for this condition. Results: While substantial variability existed among practitioners, there was agreement an several broad features of treatment including: the use of local and distal acupuncture points (86% of practitioners), the use of acupuncture points an the meridians traversing the back (especially the UB meridian, 90%) the use of acupoints determined by palpation (82%), the importance of eliciting de qi (60%), and of providing up to eight treatments for achieving therapeutic results (79%). Conclusion: The use of practitioner surveys can enhance the systematic development of acupuncture treatment protocols and should be part of this process in future clinical trials of common conditions.

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