Exciting Research on beneficial long term effects of Acupuncture

A  recently published research paper examining the long term effect of acupuncture on chronic pain has been published in the highly prestigious journal PAIN.

The study addresses the uncertainty as to how long the effects of acupuncture treatment persist after a course of treatment.  The researchers determined the pain scores over time after acupuncture.  They used data collected across 29 trials and 17,922 patients from high-quality randomized trials of acupuncture for chronic pain.

Eligible chronic pain patients were those with nonspecific low back or neck pain, shoulder pain, chronic headache/migraine, or osteoarthritis of the knee.  

The analysis was split into two sections.  Firstly, 20 trials compared acupuncture to sham acupuncture and secondly, 18 trials compared acupuncture with no acupuncture, for example no treatment, wait-list, rescue medication, usual care, or protocol-guided care.  In most trials, the patients received 8 to 15 treatments over 10 to 12 weeks.   Patients who were allocated to a wait-list were offered treatment at the end of the trial period.

In the trials comparing acupuncture to no acupuncture the research shows that approximately 90% of the benefit of acupuncture relative to controls was sustained at 12 months.  

This data suggest that there are underlying changes occurring with Acupuncture which have lasting health benefits. So one can conclude that  Acupuncture is not about just providing temporary symptom relief but a course of acupuncture treatment for patients with chronic pain can provide effective long lasting pain relief.

This also means that acupuncture’s cost effectiveness will now look even more positive.

At The Bower Mount Clinic we are fortunate to have Craig Minto a highly experienced and much respected Acupuncturist. To make an appointment with Craig just call The Bower Mount Clinic on 01622 674656

Osteopathy and pregnancy

We regularly treat pregnant women at The Bower Mount Clinic with a variety of symptoms ranging from low to mid back pain to pelvic girdle pain (including sacro-iliac and/or pubic symphysis dysfunction), rib pain, sciatica as well as the general discomfort of later pregnancy.  As the baby grows in the womb, the extra weight can mean pregnant women are more likely to be prone to lower back pain. As breast weight increases, a woman’s upper back may also give her cause for complaint. Many different and gentle  treatment techniques can be used including soft-tissue massage, joint articulation, muscle energy techniques and Cranial Osteopathic approaches. The summer months seem particularly busy as many babies are born at this time of year.

The National Council for Osteopathic for Osteopathic Research (NCOR) report discussed the Osteopathic management of patients during pregnancy.(see link below)   The key findings of the report were:


  • One of the most frequently cited symptoms of pregnancy seen by osteopaths is low back pain.
  • Other symptoms include heartburn (for which there is acknowledgement of benefits of osteopathic treatment but currently little evidence), carpal tunnel syndrome, sacroiliac pain, mid thoracic pain and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Osteopathic Studies

  • One study has found evidence that pregnant patients who received osteopathic care experienced improved outcomes in labour and delivery compared to those who didn’t.
  • Another study has shown that osteopathic manipulative technique may help to improve or stop the deterioration of back-specific functioning in the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Non-supine positions during labour and delivery have been found to have clinical advantage

There are a number of other interesting points raised in the NCOR report. Click on the link to access it in full – https://www.ncor.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Osteopathy-and-Pregnancy.pdf

Many mothers who have benefited from osteopathic treatment at The Bower Mount Clinic bring their babies in for treatment too. Gentle cranial osteopathic treatment tailored to the babies needs seems to help soothe and relax babies – a benefit for both child and mother alike!