Low back pain is an extremely common condition. Being common, however, makes it no less painful. Many people reach the point of desperation with back pain that they opt for pain medications or surgery, though these options carry serious risks. While there are conditions that require more invasive treatments (as with back pain caused by fractures or back pain associated with groin numbness or difficulty urinating), the vast majority of people who experience back pain can find relief through treatments like yoga, massage, and acupuncture.
In fact, the American College of Physicians has recently changed its recommendations on the treatment of low back pain to reflect the dangers of medication use and the growing body of evidence supporting acupuncture and complementary therapies as first-line treatments for pain. Rather than initially recommending NSAIDs like Ibuprofen for low back pain, the ACP now recommends that doctors refer patients to acupuncturists, massage therapists, or exercise practices integrating mindfulness (like yoga or tai chi). These therapies alleviate pain and speed recovery of injured muscles and tendons without the risks of medications.
In my personal experience, people with low back pain tend to have relief after our first acupuncture session and have a full cessation of symptoms by the sixth to twelfth visit.
Here is the NPR article that inspired this post:
Here is a link to the original article from the Annals of Internal Medicine detailing the new recommendations from the American College of Physicians: