Acupuncture Low Back Pain
Low back pain patients treated with acupuncture reported better pain control than those who got no acupuncture.
When your practitioner treats your back pain with acupuncture, both local (at the site of pain) and distal (away from the area of pain) needles can be used to help resolve the problem. Distal points are very important, especially in acute pain. Often, needles can be placed in areas other than the back and you can get excellent and quick relief. There are many local points on the back and often a practitioner will palpate your body to find the most sensitive spots and needle those. Other adjuncts to treatment might include: electric stimulation of points, and cupping. Generally, it is advisable to have frequent treatment initially and taper off as the pain diminishes. Herbs can also be helpful in moving blood and reducing inflammation as well as strengthening a deficient condition.
Acupuncture continues to gain popularity in this country because it is an effective treatment of acute and chronic backache. Acute pain can often be cleared up in a few sessions. More treatments may be needed if there is an underlying deficiency, or reoccurring problem, or sciatica.
Chronic back pain is one the most common and difficult-to-treat medical problems in health care.
The costs in terms of lost productivity and workers' compensation are staggering.
Acupuncture has become an accepted treatment for the condition in both the United States and in Europe.
The Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
When an individual is diagnosed with a "back problem" in Western medicine be it spondylosis, spinal osteoarthritis, prolapsed lumbar disc or muscular/ligamentous lumbar strain the focus is primarily on the lower back region and within the Western medical model the options become therapies like spinal surgery, physical therapy, pharmaceutical intervention and cortisone or epidural type injections. These are perfectly acceptable modalities but what if they don't alleviate the pain? And, what about the underlying cause for the back weakness in the first place? Can that underlying weakness be strengthened? Let us consider this possibility via Chinese medicine.
The low back is the "œmansion of the Kidneys" meaning that the low back is most closely related, but not limited to, the health of the Kidney system. It is without question, in low back pain, that the Kidney system be treated in Chinese medicine.
Back on the subject of Qi, it is said in Chinese Medicine:
- If there is free flow, there is no pain
- If there is no free flow, there is pain
Basically, what this means is if the Qi and/or blood stagnate in the channel(s), specifically through the region of the low back, there will be pain. Imagine a river flowing unimpeded and suddenly a tree falls across the river, we see in our imagination the water no longer flowing freely, but getting blocked by the log, pushing into the banks of the river. The basic concept of acupuncture is to re-open the river, create a circulation so that the log lifts and normal flow is restored.