Chronic back pain can be debilitating, and it keeps millions of people from being able to do what they want. New research suggests that pairing ear acupuncture with dry cupping may be worth a try, says Steven Richeimer, MD, chief of the division of pain medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The findings, published in April in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, found that participants with chronic back pain who received ear acupuncture and dry cupping treatments reported feeling more satisfied with their health and overall quality of life than patients who only received ear acupuncture.

Changes linked to these complementary therapies can make a big difference by motivating people to engage more, says Richeimer, who was not involved with the research.

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