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American College of Physicians recommends non-drug therapies such as acupuncture for low back pain

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends in an evidence-based clinical practice guideline published Annals of Internal Medicine that physicians and patients should treat acute or subacute low back pain with non-drug therapies such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation.

For patients with chronic low back pain, ACP recommends to initially select non-drug therapy with exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise (MCE), progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.

“For the treatment of chronic low back pain, physicians should select therapies that have the fewest harms and costs, since there were no clear comparative advantages for most treatments compared to one another. Physicians should remind their patients that any of the recommended physical therapies should be administered by providers with appropriate training.”

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