When one thinks about acupuncture for back pain, people usually think only about needles. However, needles usually only make about 10% of the modality. While the needle has its role in reducing inflammation, and speeding the healing process, there is more. Usually, the practitioner will incorporate stretching and manual therapy to correct the problem. Also, cupping therapy also helps suck inflammation out the joint. And inflammation, more than anything else is what causes the most impingement and sciatica pain. And finally distal acupoint stimulation and electrical microcurrent can help move and eliminate inflammation and pain.
It is no wonder that Chinese oriental medicine is generally considered a favorite modality to treat back problems.