Chronic Low Back Pain Case Study

Patient Information:

The patient, a 45-year-old female, presented to the clinic with a history of chronic low back pain. She had been experiencing pain for the past five years and had tried various treatment options, including medication, physical therapy, and chiropractic care, without significant improvement. She described her pain as a constant dull ache that intensified during physical activity or prolonged sitting. She also reported experiencing stiffness and limited range of motion in her lower back.


During the consultation the patient described her condition and described the tenderness in the lower back and decreased range of motion. X-rays and MRI of the lumbar spine were performed by previous physicians, and the results showed degenerative changes in the lower lumbar vertebrae.


The patient received a course of acupuncture treatment for chronic low back pain. The treatment plan consisted of 20 sessions, three times a week for two weeks then twice a week for seven weeks. The first two treatments were done with the patient supine. Then the focus shifted to treating the lower back area directly, using needles inserted into specific acupuncture points, including but not limited to the following:

  • Ming Men (DU4)
  • Tai Xi (KI3)
  • Shang Lian (UB31)
  • Zhong Lian (UB32)
  • Xia Lian (UB33)

Each session lasted for 20 minutes, during which the patient lay comfortably on her stomach while the needles were inserted. The acupuncturist used a combination of manual and electrical stimulation to enhance the effect of the needles.


The patient reported a significant reduction in pain and stiffness after the fifth session. She was able to perform daily activities with less discomfort, and her range of motion improved. After the completion of 12 sessions, the patient reported that her pain was reduced by 75%, and she felt much more comfortable. She was able to resume physical activities such as jogging and playing tennis without much pain. After the completion of 20 sessions, the patient reported a 90% reduction in pain and was able to do all desired physical activities without increased pain.


Acupuncture can be an effective alternative treatment method for chronic low back pain, as demonstrated in this case study. This method is non-invasive, safe, and has minimal side effects. Acupuncture can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other modalities such as medication and physical therapy. Since this has been a chronic issue for this patient and previous tests have revealed degeneration in the spine she will need maintenance treatments to remain pain free. Currently the patient is receiving one treatment every six weeks and is holding steady at a 90% or more reduction in original pain levels.