Lower back pain is a very common condition in the United States—about 80% of adults will experience it at some point in their lives. It is also the most common cause of work-related disability. Acupuncture has shown positive results in studies of lower back pain. Doctors may recommend trying acupuncture if self-care strategies haven’t worked or to complement traditional medical treatment. Major insurance providers are likely to cover acupuncture for lower back pain.
1. Lower Back Pain https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/1491x997%2B8%2B0/resize/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fb7%2Fcc%2F47db1f3e4430b5aea30a84214a64%2Fresizes%2F1500%2Fimage-getty-184315230.jpg
Research generally supports using acupuncture for neck pain. Evidence suggests acupuncture works best in the short-term—for about three months—in people with chronic neck pain. This includes both pain relief and quality of life. It’s not clear how long these benefits last. There is also evidence acupuncture is effective for neck pain when people combine it with their usual care. Neck pain is also likely to be a medically necessary use of acupuncture under major insurance plans.
Millions of Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. The pain from this degenerative arthritis can be severe. But studies suggest acupuncture may help. This is especially true for knee and hip arthritis. Studies looking at this use for acupuncture generally found acupuncture provides more pain relief than not using it. However, simulated acupuncture—using something other than real acupuncture needles—was just as effective. Major insurance plans may cover acupuncture combined with medical treatment for osteoarthritis.
Researchers have studied acupuncture for both tension headaches and migraines. Results suggest it is effective for both types of headache. But studies differ as to whether acupuncture is more effective than simulated acupuncture or not. Regardless, the evidence points to a reduction in the frequency and severity of tension headaches and migraines. Major health insurance plans are likely to cover acupuncture for migraines. Coverage may vary for other types of headache.
Treatment of nausea and vomiting is one of the most established uses for acupuncture. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) recognized this use back in 1997. They found it was effective for nausea and vomiting after surgery and chemotherapy. These two scenarios are likely to count as medically necessary under major insurance plans. The NIH also found acupuncture was possibly effective for morning sickness. This use may or may not be covered by insurance.
5. Nausea and Vomiting https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fa6%2Fff%2Fc4af50f04626b6dbf649a733d252%2Fimage-women-holding-stomach.jpg
The 1997 NIH report also identified treating postoperative dental pain as an effective use of acupuncture. Since then, organizations, suc