Both manual and electroacupuncture effective for low back pain and disability

Low back pain is the #1 complaint for which patients seek acupuncture treatment in the US, and chronic low back pain is the one condition for which Medicare covers acupuncture. There’s a lot of information on-line about acupuncture treatment of low back pain, and patients often ask me which is more effective: manual vs. electrical stimulation of needles. This recent study suggests they are roughly equally effective; in my experience, most patients find they have a preference for one over the other, and some patients find both to be helpful.