Acupuncture for lumbar disc herniation: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Thirty RCTs involving 3503 participants were included in the study to evaluate evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Meta-analysis showed that acupuncture had a higher total effective rate than lumbar traction (RR=1.1, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.15; p<0.001), ibuprofen (RR=1.24, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.48; p=0.02), diclofenac sodium (RR=1.44, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.67; p<0.001) and meloxicam (RR=1.16, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.31; p=0.01). Acupuncture was also better than lumbar traction (SMD -1.33, 95% CI -1.82 to -0.84; p<0.001) and diclofenac sodium (SMD -1.36, 95% CI -2.59 to -0.13; p=0.03) in terms of visual analogue scale (VAS) scores, and better than lumbar traction (SMD 0.96, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.45; p=0.0001) with respect to Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores.