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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (2): 71-76.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.01.005

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Discussions on real-world acupuncture treatments for chronic low-back pain in older adults

Arthur Yin Fana,b(), Hui Ouyanga,c, Xinru Qiana,d, Hui Weia,e, David Dehui Wanga,f, Deguang Hea,g, Haihe Tiana, h, Changzhen Gonga,i, Amy Mateckia, j, Sarah Faggert Alemia, k   

  1. a American TCM Association (ATCMA), Vienna, VA 22182, USA
    b McLean Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, PLC, Vienna, VA 22182, USA
    c YIN & YANG Healthcare, Friendswood, TX 77546, USA
    d Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone Health, New York, NY 10016, USA
    e Wei’s Chinese Medical Center, Lake Worth, FL 33467, USA
    f Ohio State Integrative Medicine, Wexner Medical Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43221, USA
    g New England School of Acupuncture, Newton, MA 02458, USA
    h Chinese Acupuncture and Herbs Center, Largo, FL 33778, USA
    i American Academy of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, Roseville, MN 55113, USA
    j Division of Integrative Medicine, Alameda Health System Affiliated with School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Oakland, CA 94602, USA
    k Eastern Roots Wellness, PLC, McLean, VA 22101, USA
  • Received:2019-01-03 Accepted:2019-01-11 Online:2019-03-06 Published:2019-05-17

Chronic low-back pain (CLBP) is one of the most common pain conditions. Current clinical guidelines for low-back pain recommend acupuncture for CLBP. However, there are very few high-quality acupuncture studies on CLBP in older adults. Clinical acupuncture experts in the American Traditional Chinese Medicine Association (ATCMA) were interested in the recent grant on CLBP research announced by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. The ATCMA experts held an online discussion on the subject of real-world acupuncture treatments for CLBP in older adults. Seven participants, each with more than 20 years of acupuncture practice, discussed their own unique clinical experience while another participant talked about the potential mechanism of acupuncture in pain management. As a result of the discussion, a picture of a similar treatment strategy emerged across the participants for CLBP in older adults. This discussion shows that acupuncture may have complicated mechanisms in pain management, yet it is effective for the treatment of chronic pain involving maladaptive neuroplasticity; therefore, it should be effective for CLBP in older adults.

Key words: Acupuncture, Pragmatic clinical trials as topic, Real world, Treatment strategies, Low-back pain, Older adults, Discussion

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