This study analysed a few reviews on acupuncture for back pain. One review involved in 6656 participants compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture, no treatment, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, medications, usual care. Acupuncture effectively relieved chronic back pain up to three months after treatment and it provided more relief compared with sham acupuncture, no treatment, and usual care including physical therapy, massage, and medication. Another review involved 11682 participants compared with sham acupuncture, no treatment, or acupuncture plus conventional treatment such as physical therapy, exercise, and medication. Acupuncture was consistently found to provide superior pain relief for CLBP lasting greater than 3 months. The third review involved 7958 participants found that acupuncture significantly reduced pain intensity immediately and 12 weeks after treatment. Acupuncture provided greater pain relief and improved function compared with no acupuncture or with medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or analgesics).
Fuentes RC et al Can Fam Physician. 2020 Mar;66(3):186-187.