British Medical Journal published a study where acupuncture treatment was used to treat lower back pain and compared its health and cost effectiveness of regular treatments. The study was conducted for two years and pain levels were recorded at regular intervals.
At 12 months, patients in the acupuncture group showed a small benefit in pain scores compared to patients receiving usual care. Stronger evidence was observed for an increased benefit at 24 months.
At three months, patients in the acupuncture group were significantly more likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with their treatment compared with usual care, and with their overall care, but showed no such difference in satisfaction with information received.
At 24 months, the acupuncture group were more likely to report reduced worry about their back pain, less likely to report current use of pain medication for their back, and more likely to report no pain for the past 12 months.
Another paper by the same researchers showed that acupuncture was more cost effective than regular treatment to the government.
Having a problem with lower back pain myself and being treated with acupuncture (with Tui-Na massage, which is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine) I can personally testify the effectiveness of this method.