From my experience (15 years of treating back pain), it is often hard to pin down what exactly is the cause of back pain. What I mean is that not always but often the tests done such as MRIs don't always give us the whole picture. Many people have MRIs which show multiple bulging disks and they have no pain. Many MRIs show nothing wrong at all but the pain is there. Many get surgery based on these finding and the pain is no better - or changed - or worse. This all shows that the back is very complicated, and it is just one part of the whole body which of course also plays a part. A good reason to try acupuncture (and cupping because I rarely do acupuncture for back pain without some cupping), is that we do not have to know the exact cause of the issue. We treat the blockages that cause the pain. Can this fix the problem? Yes. Because the back is very complicated and is part of the very complicated body and mind, healing is almost always a mysterious thing. The wisdom of acupuncture is that is somehow stimulates the body to figure it out. Removing the blockages that cause pain can be the start of real healing.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond