What are the dangers of acupuncture for back pain?

Side effects with acupuncture are rare and usually mild, such as some bleeding at the site, bruising perhaps. In some rare cases, patients have contracted hepatitis or septicemia from contaminated needles.

Not all people should have acupuncture. If you have a bleeding disorder, an infection on the skin or some other damage to the skin where the needles would be placed, you should not have acupuncture. As well, if you are pregnant, allergic to metal, or are taking medications to thin your blood, you should proceed with caution.

Carlo Ammendolia, DC, PhD, et al. Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with needle acupuncture. In The Spine Journal. January/February 2008. Vol. 8. Issue 1. Pp. 160-172.

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