(Relaxnews)—In a study released online in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York looked at more than two dozen studies involving 17,922 patients with back, neck and shoulder pain, osteoarthritis or chronic headaches. Results found that both acupuncture and "sham" acupuncture treatments, in which the needles weren't placed properly, worked to lessen pain compared to no acupuncture. The study's findings, according to TakePart health blog, mean in real terms that on a scale of 0 to 100, the average pain score at the start of a study might be 60. At the end of the study, the no-acupuncture group average score might be 43, while the sham group would be 35 and the true acupuncture would be 30. "Many clinicians consider acupuncture to be merely a potent placebo and feel uncomfortable referring their patients to an acupuncturist," researcher Andrew Vickers said. "But our findings suggest that the effects of acupuncture go over and above the placebo effect." The study follows another from 2009 that found that the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture compared with placebo are small and seem to lack clinical relevance. The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.