NHS pins its hopes for treating back pain on acupuncture

Unprecedented approval for alternative therapies from health service watchdog By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor Wednesday, 27 May 2009 Tens of millions of pounds are being wasted by the NHS on useless treatments for back pain, money that should be diverted to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and spinal manipulation, a health service watchdog says today. From among 200 treatments and devices claimed to help a bad back, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) has passed judgement on what works and what doesn't. X-rays, ultrasound and steroid injections are out and osteopathy, chiropractic and "needling" are in, it says. The new guidelines mark a watershed in the treatment of the condition and for Nice itself. It is the first time that the institute has issued a positive recommendation that the NHS provide, and pay for, alternative therapies. Acupuncture Essex