Intended for healthcare professionals


NICE recommends exercise and not acupuncture for low back pain

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 29 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1765
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

Acupuncture is no longer recommended for the management of non-specific low back pain with or without sciatica because evidence shows that it is no better than sham treatment, says new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).1

The guideline recommends exercise such as stretching, yoga, or aerobic exercise as the first step in managing low back pain, and people should also be encouraged to continue with normal activities as much as possible. It recommends that manipulation, mobilisation, and massage should be used only …

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