A review of 29 previous studies from the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows acupuncture does make people feel better. It helped four chronic conditions: back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, headache and shoulder pain.
The researchers concluded the needle remedy worked better than usual pain treatment and slightly better than fake acupuncture.
Fifty percent of true acupuncture patients had their pain level cut in half, compared with 42 percent of sham acupuncture patients, and 30 percent of patients who had no acupuncture at all.
Details are in the Archives of Internal Medicine.