Acupuncture treatment for back pain is unique in that I look for the meridians which travel through the affected areas, and treat using distal points away from the affected area. For example, back pain can be treated using acupoints in the hands and feet. This is in addition to examining the physical structures (e.g. muscles, joints, etc) at the affected area.
The meridian/distal approach can sometimes yield much better results than treating locally in mild to moderate cases. As in literally, needles go in, wait 2 minutes, >50% of pain is gone. We have several 5-star reviews from back pain patients who have experienced this, though individual situations will vary.
The number of treatments that you will require depends on the circumstances surrounding your back pain. Here are expected treatment plans for situations I have treated in the past:
Acute back pain resulting from minor injury (too much bending down, sudden lifting)
1-2 treatments in week 1 to get most of the pain under control; 1-2 treatments in week 2 to help patients return to normal. Preventative maintenance treatments may be recommended every 2-3 weeks thereafter.
Chronic back pain (for example from overly sedentary lifestyle)
1-2 treatments within week 1 to get most of the pain under control; preventative maintenance recommended every 2-3 weeks thereafter depending on the situation.
Back pain resulting from serious injuries or problems (for example construction work, bulging discs, back surgery, etc)
4 treatments within the first two weeks along with herbal treatment to have the pain under control, with preventative maintenance recommended every 1-2 weeks thereafter. Acupuncture treatments will not likely fix structural problems (for example: bulging discs) right away, but the needles will increase circulation to the affected areas to help with pain and discomfort. The herbal treatments are strongly recommended in the first two weeks because serious injuries or problems typically cause other systemic problems which prevent proper healing from occurring. For example, you may feel weakness or numbness stemming from blood or qi deficiency aside from pain in the affected area. These underlying imbalances can be addressed much more quickly with herbal treatments than with acupuncture alone.