Having thin needles inserted into strategic parts of the body may not sound like a logical way to counter pain, but studies show that acupuncture can be particularly effective in easing the muscle tightness and spasms that go along with chronic back problems. In fact, one of the ways acupuncture works is by stimulating the release of the body's natural pain relievers, explains Dr. Leopold. Find an acupuncturist who is a physician (M.D. or D.O.) or a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.), and insist on sterile, disposable needles. For best results, you'll probably need to see him or her several times a month, and then follow up with less frequent maintenance sessions.