Low back pain means pain in the lower lumbar, lumbosacral, or sacroiliac regions possibly accompanied by pain radiating down one or both buttocks and legs. Low back pain is one of the most common complaints. It is present in at least 50% of all persons 60 years of age or older. It accounts for millions of hours lost from work and more millions of dollars spent on treatment and medication. Low back pain may be either acute or chronic. It can be simply annoying or irritating or it can produce unbearable physical and emotional suffering. In Western medicine, acute low back pain is treated with rest, local heat, massage, oral analgesics, and muscle relaxants. Chronic low back pain is treated by weight loss, exercise, intramuscularly injected analgesics, and surgery. However, long-term narcotic use has its own problems, and surgery is not always effective.
On the other hand, Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) have been treating low back pain with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for more than 3,000 years, and, in the last 50 years, a large body of research has been developed showing that Chinese medicine can be an effective alternative to Western drugs and surgery.