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Women may respond better than men to acupuncture for low back pain (LBP). An American research team analysed data from a trial comparing acupuncture with spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), in which 100 participants with LBP were randomised to receive acupuncture, SMT, or both combined. Women assigned to acupuncture averaged a 3.8-point reduction in worst LBP versus 2.0 points for SMT, whereas men assigned to SMT averaged a 3.5-point reduction versus 1.8 points for acupuncture, and there was a similar trend for disability. For women, acupuncture alone led to better outcomes without SMT, and for men, SMT alone led to better outcomes without acupuncture. Women who received acupuncture were more likely to experience a 50% or greater reduction in disability and pain, whereas men who received SMT were more likely to experience a 50% or greater reduction in disability and pain.

An Exploratory Analysis of Gender as a Potential Modifier of Treatment Effect Among Patients in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Integrative Acupuncture and Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain.J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2019 Mar - Apr;42(3):177-186