Researchers in China have conducted a meta-analysis of 22 randomised controlled trials of acupuncture as a treatment for chronic spinal pain. A meta-analysis involves combining the results, in this case of the 22 trials, thus giving a much better insight into the effectiveness of treatment than would be the case with just looking at one trial alone. This meta-analysis, including 2588 patients over the 22 trials, concluded that for pain control acupuncture is significantly better than medication. Considering the problems associated with long-term use of pain-killers, this is good news.
Acupuncture also improved physical function (i.e the ability to move around, bend over etc,), and this improvement persisted at long-term follow-up, and was not, therefore, just a temporary effect of the treatment.
Can Acupuncture Improve Chronic Spinal Pain? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Global Spine J. 2020 Oct 9;2192568220962440.
Here is some of the latest news on acupuncture and related things, perhaps with a few of my thoughts thrown in for good measure.