Acute low back pain goes away after several days or weeks. Chronic low back pain persists over months or years. The main goal in treating back pain is to decrease pain so that patients can resume their normal activities. Traditional treatments for low back pain include drugs (pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants), physical therapy, back exercises, and education about ways to prevent back injury and to deal with back pain. Unfortunately, these treatments do not always help. Many people with low back pain seek alternative treatments, such as acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that involves putting special needles into specific points of the body. Increasingly, mainstream medicine is recognizing acupuncture as an effective treatment for various disorders. It is unclear whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for low back pain.