Across Europe approximately 18% of the population is currently affected by moderate to severe chronic pain, particularly for musculoskeletal issues. It has a considerable impact on quality of life, resulting in significant suffering and disability. Within Scotland there is evidence of wide variation in clinical practice, service and resource provision, with a general lack of knowledge about chronic pain and the management options that are available.
It is hoped that this evidence based guideline will provide the information needed to improve clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients with chronic pain. The guideline states that Acupuncture should be considered for short term relief of pain for patients with chronic low back pain or osteoarthritis.