Use of acupuncture in the management of pain
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Use of acupuncture in the management of pain

Ian Appleyard Independent acupuncturist and researcher, Brighton, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise that patients experiencing chronic pain may benefit from the use of acupuncture

  • To improve your awareness of the theory and techniques involved in acupuncture

  • To understand the evidence for the effectiveness of using acupuncture to manage chronic pain

Nurses practising in almost any area of healthcare may encounter individuals who are considering acupuncture, particularly those caring for people who are experiencing chronic pain. Acupuncture is a complex intervention and in traditional practice is not simply the insertion of needles, as some people believe. This article provides a historical understanding of acupuncture, outlining some of the differences between styles of practice that may be relevant when selecting an acupuncturist. It also examines the issues that should be considered when assessing the evidence base for acupuncture.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11303


Appleyard I (2018) Use of acupuncture in the management of pain. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11303

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 21 November 2018

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now