Total Acupuncture and Physical Therapy

Non-Invasive Therapies for Low Back Pain

Mar 14, 2024
Frank Failla, DPT performing manual physical therapy techniques

Non-Invasive Therapies for Low Back Pain

Millions of Americans grapple with low back pain during their lives. Injuries can be one cause, but for some the source develops over years without notice: the burden of daily responsibilities and the natural aging process subtly erode posture, causing discomfort and pain. Physical therapy and acupuncture are non-invasive options that can make a world of difference for sufferers of low back pain.

While low back pain may resolve within a couple of weeks, it can last for months or years, sometimes going away only to return with a vengeance. Imaging techniques, such as MRI or X-ray, cannot always capture the source of the problem. This can be frustrating for those suffering daily with chronic back pain, and over time, reduce their quality of life. 

Many lifestyle factors increase the likelihood of back pain, such as:

  • Prolonged sitting
  • Poor sitting posture
  • Improper body mechanics when bending and lifting
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor physical condition 

Low back pain can also radiate to other parts of the body. It may lead to pain in the buttocks, and sometimes nerves get irritated, causing leg pain, numbness, and tingling in the toes. 


Healing Low Back Pain Naturally 

Evidence suggests that early treatment for low back pain helps decrease the chance that your pain will become chronic. Since symptoms and lifestyle factors vary greatly, a thorough evaluation with a physical therapist and acupuncturist can help determine the ideal treatment plan. For many, a combination of manual therapy, exercises, acupuncture, and education are some of the most effective treatments for treating low back pain without the need for medications or surgical procedures. 

Manual therapy can include a combination of myofascial release and joint manipulation, helping to relieve stiffness and get your spine moving. In addition, some physical therapy interventions help restore spinal joints’ range of motion, improve flexibility, and re-educate core stabilizing musculature. 

During an acupuncture treatment, your acupuncturist first assesses the root cause of your low back pain checking for pelvic misalignment, intervertebral disc herniation, arthritis, range of motion, and muscular imbalances. After an evaluation, your acupuncturist develops a personalized treatment plan that may include acupuncture, cupping, and other therapies. 

Working with a physical therapist and acupuncturist, you gain an understanding of the causes of low back pain, what makes the pain worse or better, and strategies to help with discomfort. You also walk away with techniques for improving your posture, strengthening core muscles to reduce the burden on the low back, and maintaining your spine health. 

For more advice you can put into action quickly, check out UC Davis Health’s top 8 tips on easing back pain

If you or a loved one are experiencing low back pain, contact our office at 973-910-1441 to schedule an evaluation.    


Frank Failla, DPT, is doctor of physical therapy at Total Acupuncture and Physical Therapy in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Dr. Failla takes pride in providing one-on-one physical therapy in a private setting, creating a relaxing and nurturing environment. Throughout his fifteen years of advanced orthopedic practice, Dr. Failla has taken extensive continuing education courses in manual therapy, myofascial release, and osteopathic techniques. He has trained with the McKenzie Institute in mechanical diagnosis and treatment of the spine; the Barral Institute in neural manipulation for an integrative approach to pain and dysfunction; and the Institute of Physical Art in functional and visceral mobilization. He is a certified provider of Active Release Technique. Dr. Failla enjoys helping patients who have struggled to find pain relief using conventional medical disciplines. He believes patients can often avoid surgical procedures through proper care and lifestyle modifications.

Managing Low Back Pain: Exercise, Manual Therapy, and Education; Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 2021,
8 tips to help ease your back pain.