Finding Evidence

Evidence quest is an essential part of nursing and healthcare because most decisions should be backed up by solid evidence to ensure positive patient outcomes such as safety and other factors. Evidence questions are needed for retrieving vital information for use in healthcare. The use of acupuncture as a treatment for chronic low back pain is the subject of this article, which poses an evidence issue. The question is whether acupuncture is an appropriate therapy for patients suffering from low back pain.
Lower back pain is a common health condition that affects people worldwide (Van Hooff et al., 2016). The universality of the problem is evident in the fact that almost everyone will experience the pain at some points in their lives. The pain that is felt in the lumbar region (below the rib cage) is so intense that it is regarded as one of the causes of absenteeism from work and other routine activities.

While the pain gets better on its own, in some instances the aching may persist and may thus be considered especially if it lasts more than three months. Some of the usual therapies used in managing the pain include massage, home based remedies, spinal manipulation, and suitable rest (Van Hooff et al. 2016). Homecare practices include getting comfortable and temporary reliefs through the use of warm baths and heating pads. In spinal manipulation, chiropractors and other practitioners may apply pressure to the bones and the surrounding tissues using their hands. Another remedy is yoga in which individuals experience reduced pains. In the use of the massage therapy, combination with exercises and stretching is recommended to ease the pain in the patients. Whereas most of the discussed therapies may be effective in reducing pain in some patients many of the individuals may still continue suffering despite having undergone the management remedies. Acupuncture has been thought of as a possible therapy especially in the instances that other remedies fail. According to Xu et al. (2013) acupuncture has been reported as an effective therapy for providing symptomatic relief in the patients with chronic lower back pains. Hutchinson et al. (2012) further assert that some published guidelines support the use of acupuncture for remedying low back pains. However evidence is still required to ascertain the effectiveness of the technique (Xu et al., 2013).

Acupuncture is an art of alternative medicine in which the practitioners stimulate particular points of the body by inserting needles (Xu et al., 2013). The technique that has its origin from the Chinese Traditional Medicine helps to reduce pain by blocking the neurohormonal pathways. Studies have suggested that acupuncture may help in easing the chronic back pain it is therefore essential to find critical evidence to support the findings of the suitability of acupuncture as a method for alleviating the chronic pain in the lumbar region. The necessity of the evidence is further noted in the essence that the process is delicate and should be handled with utmost care to prevent injury. Evidence is further needed to prove the claims that acupuncture can assist in reducing different types of pains like tension headaches and migraines.

References

Van Hooff, M., Van Dongen, H., Spruit, M., Ostelo, R., & De Kleuver, M. (2016). Prediction of Treatment Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: the Development of a Clinical Decision Guideline for Spine Surgeons. Global Spine Journal, 6(1_suppl), s-0036.

Xu, M., Yan, S., Yin, X., Li, X., Gao, S., Han, R., … & Lei, G. (2013). Acupuncture for chronic low back pain in long-term follow-up: a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 41(01), 1-19.

Hutchinson, A. J., Ball, S., Andrews, J. C., & Jones, G. G. (2012). The effectiveness of acupuncture in treating chronic non-specific low back pain: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research, 7(1), 36.

PICO terms

Population

Patients with chronic lower back pain. List of search terms lumbar pain,

Intervention

Use of acupuncture as therapy. Search terms include: acupuncture, Pain treatment through insertion of needles at specific points of the body.

Comparison

Therapies like massage, home based (warm baths, heating pads) and spinal manipulation as well as term as the therapeutic management of chronic lower back pain.

Outcome

Reduced pain in the patients. Search terms may include symptomatic relief, pain remedy

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