Nurs Pract 2001; 15 (3) Apr: 3544
University of New
Mexico Hospital, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Back pain affects more than 9 million people in the United States and
accounts for 25% of disability in all work-related injuries. It has a
lifetime prevalence of 60%-90% and it costs more than $50 billion annually
to manage back pain. The incidence of back pain in nurses is over 80%
and accounts for more than 150 million working days per year being lost.
Western treatment of back pain is controversial and often ineffective.
Acupuncture as a therapeutic intervention is practiced widely in the United
States. Research has demonstrated that acupuncture may benefit those who
suffer from back pain when they have failed to respond to previous treatment
by drugs, bed rest, epidural injection, physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractics,
and surgery. Acupuncture is a powerful and complementary therapy for back