National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

People seek out acupuncture treatments for a various types of pain with back pain being the most common, followed by joint pain, neck pain, and headaches.


Acupuncture is one of the most studied pain relief modalities in the world.  The NCCAM sponsors various acupuncture research projects.  Some projects focus on using acupuncture to relieve specific pain conditions.  Some projects are focused on how acupuncture can relieve pain in these conditions.  The focus of other projects is on how acupuncture physiologically affects the body.  Scientific evidence results from laboratory research as well as clinical trials on people.


The NCCAM has determined from the evidence that acupuncture is efficacious or that the research is promising that acupuncture works for the following conditions:


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache and migraine
  • Low back pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Myofascial pain

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