The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended acupuncture for back pain.

NICE, the independent body that advises doctors on best clinical practice, has released new (evidence based) guidelines for the management of persistent, non-specific low back pain. The guidelines recommend acupuncture, physical exerise or manual therapy as first line treatments for those with back pain that has lasted more than six weeks.

The use of steroid injections for the condition is discouraged. Instead, acupuncture is recommended as the most effective invasive procedure. The guidelines recommend that doctors should consider advising a course of acupuncture treatment comprising up to a maximum of 10 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks.