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The Acuback study

Acupuncture for acute non-specific low back pain: a randomized, controlled, multicenter intervention study in general practice


About the project

Low back pain (LBP) is a very common disorder with consequences for the individual patient as well as for the society.

Acute LBP is treated primarily in the primary healthcare by general practitioners (GPs), physiotherapists, manual therapists and chiropractors. Recommended treatment according to clinical guidelines contains information about the condition, advice to stay active and, if possible, avoid bed rest, early and gradual mobilisation after the acute phase, pain treatment with paracetamol and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with timecontingent doses. GPs educated and trained in acupuncture also use acupuncture for the treatment of both acute and chronic LBP cases.


In the present study, we aim at exploring whether a single treatment-session with acupuncture can reduce the time to recovery when applied in addition to the standard LBP-treatment in general practice according to Norwegian national guidelines.

1. Acupuncture treatment contributes to faster pain-recovery in acute LBP compared to standard treatment in general practice provided in accordance with the Norwegian national guidelines.

2. Acupuncture treatment for acute LBP improves function, and reduces drug use and sick leave, compared to the standard treatment in general practice provided in accordance with national guidelines.

3. Acupuncture treatment for acute LBP is a cost-effective treatment in general practice.


  • Trygve Skonnord, Holgeir Skjeie, Mette Brekke, Margreth Grotle, Iréne Lund, Arne Fetveit. Acupuncture for acute non-specific low back pain: a protocol for a randomised, controlled multicentre intervention study in general practice—the Acuback Study. BMJ Open 2012;2:e001164 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001164


The Fund for research in General Practice


Autumn 2011

Published Aug. 1, 2012 11:48 AM - Last modified Jan. 30, 2017 4:33 PM