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Acupuncture for sciatica and a comparison with Western Medicine (PEDro synthesis)
  1. Matthew Fernandez,
  2. Paulo H Ferreira
  1. Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Matthew Fernandez, Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, 75 East Street, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 1825, Australia; mfer4234{at}

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This section features a recent systematic review that is indexed on PEDro, the Physiotherapy Evidence Database ( PEDro is a free, web-based database of evidence relevant to physiotherapy.

Ji M, Wang X, Chen M, et al. The efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015;2015:192808.


Known as a syndrome rather than a disease, sciatica is often accompanied by low back pain, characterised by radiating leg pain down to the foot and toes and may also be accompanied by sensory or motor changes. Previous systematic reviews have evaluated different treatment modalities for sciatica, including surgical and non-surgical approaches,1 epidural steroids,2 analgesic drugs,3 and advice and exercise.4 However, no previous systematic review has been published regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture for sciatica. Acupuncture, an analgesic modality based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, is defined as a technique of unblocking and balancing the flow of energy, known as ‘qi’ or ‘chi’, which circulates …

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  • Contributors MF selected the systematic review and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MF and PHF contributed to the design, interpretation of the data, revision of drafts and approved the final manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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