Many people suffering from low back pain have found conventional medical treatments to be ineffective and unreliable for treating their pain. As clinical evidence for the benefits of acupuncture grows, acupuncture for low back pain is receiving increased recognition and acceptance by both patients and professionals. Medical societies and public health agencies are now advising doctors to try acupuncture before considering opioids or surgery. In February 2017, the American College of Physicians advised doctors and patients try acupuncture and other alternative therapies avoid prescription drugs or surgical options wherever possible. The randomized trial, which came out in 2009 found that acupuncture can reduce chronic low back pain and improve the function. The Cochorane review, which provides the highest quality of research review and research evidence, suggest that acupuncture may be useful adjuncts to other therapies for chronic low-back pain.
The research results showed that acupuncture seems to be superior compared with "no action" or usual care in patients with chronic low back pain. Acupuncture has a beneficial safety profile, with relatively few side effects. Data suggest that acupuncture is a cost effective and valuable treatment option.
In our practice, we see patients with low back pain on daily bases. Some of the patients turn to persuade acupuncture in our office after they had failed main stream medical treatments. But over the years, we have seen more and more patients to chose acupuncture treatment as their first choice of treatment. It is rewarding to see that we are able to help many of them on their pain, at the same time, improve their wellbeing using acupuncture.
1. Arch Intern Med. 2009 May 11; 169(9): 858–866. A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain.
2. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD001351. Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain.
3. J Pain Relief 2015, 4: 195. Systematic Review: Acupuncture in Chronic Pain, Low Back Pain and Migraine. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Efficacy, Cost-Effectiveness, and Safety of Selected Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Neck and Low-Back Pain Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012)