In a double blind, randomised controlled study conducted in Germany, 1162 patients that had suffered with back pain for an average of 8 years were divided into 3 groups. One group received therapeutic acupuncture, another sham acupuncture and the third conventional treatment including drugs, physical therapy, and exercise.
They found that low back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. Effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional therapy.
Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and some researchers believe that it can speed the relay of electromagnetic signals and begin the flow of pain-relieving chemicals, like endorphins and serotonin. Other theories suggest acupuncture triggers the release of natural opioids, the chemicals in the brain that lessen pain.
To read the journal abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17893311
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.