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How Acupuncture Helps Back Pain

Acupuncture Has A Low Risk Of Side Effects

Acupuncture and lower back pain

As long as you are being treated by a competent certified acupuncturist who is using single-use, sterile needles, the risks of acupuncture are low.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates acupuncture needles, just like they do other medical equipment. This ensures that the needles are made using high-quality manufacturing practices and are held to high standards of sterility.

Side effects at the site of needle entry may include:

  • Soreness

Similar to massage therapy, patients may experience symptoms following treatment, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or
  • Emotional Release

Be sure to drink plenty of water following an acupuncture session. This will help remove any toxins and prevents symptoms such as fatigue.

Acupuncture For Back Pain: How Will It Work To Relieve Pain

Acupuncture for back pain, is it working? How does it work to relieve pain? Generally speaking, practitioners in acupuncture might help managing the pain in different parts of your body. In actuality, there are several options that you can choose from to relieve lower back pain. In this article, we will tackle the use of acupuncture for low back pain relief.

Initially, you may consider watching this short video to know the science behind this traditional therapy to relieve your pain. You may have a brief idea of how this therapy can work for you.

The Philosophy Behind Acupuncture

Traditional acupuncture works on the belief that the body is controlled by an energy flow, known as qi , that travels through pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that problems or blockages with the flow of energy along these meridians is responsible for many ailments. Toxins, stress, trauma, hormones and even the foods we eat can all contribute to blocking qi.

While some practitioners still follow the traditional philosophy of qi, others have also started incorporating a more integrative approach, supported by research and western medicine principles. For example, many of todays acupuncturists view the acupuncture points as places that stimulate nerves, invigorating the bodys natural pain fighting and healing processes.

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How Acupuncture Helps Back Pain

Acupuncture is a traditional therapy based on the idea of energetics in the body.

Treatment consists of inserting needles at various pressure points on the body and through the skin. Needles are not meant to cause pain, harm, or discomfort.

A professional acupuncturist will target energy points for treatment. These are also called meridians, with some being of special benefit to painful nerves and muscles in the back.

There are a few qi meridians that an acupuncturist may focus on for back pain.

Some acupuncture points for lower back pain are:

  • back of the knees points
  • foot points

Does Acupuncture Really Work

Is it Effective to Use Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain ...

Theres a lot of skepticism surrounding acupuncture since it has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine rather than Western medical treatments. On the surface, there seems to be nothing supporting its efficacy aside from the fact that its been around for a long time. And while its been hailed as one of the better choices in complementary and alternative medicine, the procedure itself can be very intimidating to people who arent familiar with it.

However, there is some evidence that supports acupunctures efficacy in treating a variety of medical conditions. Acupuncture has shown limited success with dealing with issues like osteoarthritis, migraines, insomnia, and even some cases of PMS and period cramps.

But one of the most common concerns addressed with acupuncture is chronic pain, especially pain around the neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and back. While the foundational philosophy of acupuncture might be a little harder to take at face value like energy balancing and qi, there is some well-established research about the actual medical benefits it provides.

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Precautions To Be Taken During Acupuncture To Treat Back Pain

Before going for an acupuncture session to treat back pain, one should take care of the following precautions

  • In the case of back pain due to pregnancy, women should consult a doctor prior to going for an acupuncture session. The procedure enhances and stimulates the chances of labor and delivery. As such, a consultation with the doctor is mandatory. Always choose a certified and professional acupuncturist to perform the sessions. If the acupuncturist is not a skilled person, then he might cause damage to your body with his practice.
  • The needles used in the procedure should always be sterilized beforehand to avoid contracting infections. They should be stored at a sterilized place before and after use. Broken needles should not be used for the practice.
  • Consult a doctor before attending any acupuncture session if you run on blood thinners, certain medications, use a pacemaker, or have any type of implants in your body. In these cases, it is always necessary to consult a doctor first about your condition.

Take Care Of Your Back Pain With The Spine And Rehab Group Ny

Acupuncture can be an excellent alternative to pain medication to treat instances of back pain, but you need to remember that it can only alleviate pain, not address the cause. If the pain becomes too intense or is aggravated by acupuncture sessions, stop the treatment immediately and consult a doctor.

The Spine And Rehab Group has years of experience in providing personalized and effective solutions for back pain. We help our clients overcome and manage chronic or acute spinal conditions, with targeted treatments combined with an emphasis on excellent customer service. For more information on the services that we can provide for you, visit one of our New York clinics today.

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Can Acupuncture Help In Treating Lower Back Pain

39 Answers

Elaine Wang Dr. Steve Sterling Jason Gill Zen Tuan Mrs. Izelle Cloete Rebecca Flack George Ku Dr. Hui Gao Rene Ng Snohomish Brown Huan-wen Jonathan Fang Seon Song Kim Yoo Dr. Herbert Kwong yee Lau Alvaro Porras toledo Pai Hsiang Peng Abe Shahabelmolki Jennifer Kolter Dr. Mehrdad Ghaffarian Miss Amy Rose Gendron Richard S. Mandell Natalie E. Ramsey Ms. Larissa Gay Stewart Caitria Thiele Ms. Ellen D. Leonard Zhen Hu Holly M. Green Phranque Wright Sarah E. Sanger Jeff Rippey Daisy Dong Young Suk Seo WenShuo Wu Rosemarie Allen Dr. Hongjie Zhu James Nicholas Georgiades Andrea Cillo Dr. Dongmei Liu Covyn Montemayor

How A Typical Session Works

Acupuncture Treatments : Acupuncture as Treatment for Back Pain

During your first acupuncture treatment, you will be taken into a private room to discuss your medical history with your acupuncturist and what joints and areas of your body are in pain. After a brief physical exam, you will lie down on a treatment table so that your acupuncturist can insert needles into specific points.

You may lie face up or face down depending on what areas of your body your acupuncturist needs to access. It is best to wear loose clothing that can be rolled up or moved out of the way so that the acupuncturist can easily access different areas of your body. Depending on what areas of your body need to be accessed, you may be asked to change into a gown.

Your acupuncturist will use alcohol swabs to disinfect the skin before placing needles in various points throughout your body. The needles are made of stainless steel and are at least 10 times thinner than medical needles used for vaccines or drawing blood.

Because of this, needle insertion is often painless, especially in thicker areas of the body. You may feel a slight pinch in more sensitive areas like the hands and feet where the skin is thin, but needle insertion should be comfortable and well tolerated without significant pain.

If you are going for electroacupuncture, your acupuncturist will pass a mild electric current through the needles, usually 40 to 80 volts.

After your treatment is finished, your acupuncturist will remove all of the needles and dispose of them.

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How Acupuncture Really Helps With Lower Back Pain According To Science

There are things that you can by yourself to relieve back pain.

Lower back pain can be due to a number of factors. Some of the time its due to something that can be avoided like extreme physical exertion or poor posture. Sometimes, the reason can be a lot more serious like spinal osteoarthritis and spondylosis.

Acupuncture works by providing pain relief and reducing inflammation. But perhaps the million-dollar question about acupuncture is:

Does it work?

I get asked that question a lot. And every time somebody pops that question, my answer remains the same: Yes, acupuncture works.

Here were some interesting studies done on acupuncture specifically for lower back pain.

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Acupuncture For Back Pain And Neck Aches

When you bring your backache to your healthcare provider, you likely expect, and hopefully get, an explanation as to why its hurting and what you should do to make it stop. Maybe you have pain, numbness, weakness, or electrical sensations that travel down one leg or arm. Or maybe youre stiff, and you wonder why.

Such expectations are to a great extent, what our Western medical industry is built ona structural approach to spine pain and its solutions. This approach is also known as the mechanical view or the mechanical approach.

The mechanical approach is all about whats wrong in one or more of the bodys tissues and what steps should be taken to fix it.

Our Western medical system occupies most of the thinking about and attention to health in the U.S. But in the last 30 years or so, the use of holistic therapiesespecially for neck, back, and other joint problemshas been making its way towards the mainstream. One of the most popular of these treatments is acupuncture.

Back and neck pain is the bread and butter of an acupuncture business, says Michael L. Fox, Ph.D., president of the California Acupuncture Association and owner of Silverlake Acupuncture in Los Angeles. Fox adds that for most acupuncturists, the percentage of joint pain patients hovers around the 80 percent mark.

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Dr Jyoti Sharma Explains How You Can Benefit From The Art Of Acupuncture At Home

  • Put your hands on your waist and find your spine. Come over on each side of your spine. You can either press the specified area with a thumb, or you could press the area with fingertips as well. Since you are standing, your feet are steady. The same procedure can be repeated by leaning the back slightly backwards.
  • The next muscle to be addressed is in the middle of each buttock. Put your palms over there and press gently. It can also manage pain due to the sciatic nerve.

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  • The next you have to go is going in the front region four -fingers under your belly-button. Press a little gently there, and you can experience a sort of connection with relieving your back pain. This technique also helps in relieving menstrual cramps.
  • Sit on a stool. Take your fingers behind the leg and just below the knee and press your calf muscles gently. Remember not to be too hard while pressing.

Here is a tip, dont press directly on your spine!

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Why Use Acupuncture For Back Pain

Could Acupunture Ease Your Back And Joint Pains?

Acupuncture treatment for back pain became popular amongst patients and doctors because of its effectiveness and simpleness. Today numerous people experience back pain, and they are constantly searching for the best method to eliminate this problem. One of the most considerable issues they face is that they don’t seem to get any comfort without taking painkillers. No amount of massage or patches seems to make them feel much better at all. It’s unquestionable that back pain can be exceptionally bothersome and can make it difficult for anyone to go about their everyday activities without feeling cut off by the pain.

In many cases, acupuncture for sciatica treats not only the sciatic pain but also the underlying inflammation and injury that caused it in the first place. The energy lines that run through your body and the healing that acupuncture triggers in the brain can positively affect the entire body system, as we will discuss in more detail below.

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Four Pillars Of Chinese Medicine

  • Looking at physical attributes such as the face, eyes, gait, and tongue is the first pillar. We examined the map of the tongue as it laid out the internal viscera and details of the tongue such as shape, color, texture, moisture, coating thickness and color, size of the papillae, and movement, as these features can be very revealing.
  • Listening is a second pillar in the evaluation. The patients voice might offer evidence of a disturbance or irregular pattern.
  • Palpation is the third pillar. For example, the pulse, like the tongue, presents a blueprint of a patients condition. The left and right side of the radial pulse is laid out into 3 sections : qi, guan, and cun. Each pair of organs can be recognized within each of these positions. Palpating the pulse is an extremely detailed task requiring complete focus to feel for the quality. The pulse has several attributes that serve as a window between the practitioner and the patient, including the depth, strength, consistency, and even the specific movement in which the blood travels through the vessel.
  • Asking is the final pillar, which revolves around 10 essential questions that directly correlate to the patients overall being and constitution. These questions journey from the chief complaint and project to other life behaviors and inclinations that may encompass tendencies to be either hot or cold , sweating, gastrointestinal , sleep quality and quantity, emotional status, energy levels, and pain quality and consistency.

The Various Benefits Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture works in a way to change and modify the chemistry of your brain. With the help of acupuncture, you can almost eliminate your nerve impulses and improve the functioning of your body. Moreover, with the application of the needles, your energy channel blockage is removed leading to a smooth flow of energy.

Common acupuncture points for lower back pain are back of the knee points, footpoints, lower back points, hand points, hip points, and stomach points. However, common points for upper back pain are found on the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Here are some benefits of acupuncture that make it an increasingly desirable form of holistic healing therapy.

  • It is safer than other treatments that involve medications and unnatural chemicals.
  • The side effects are few since the process is natural and does not involve long procedures and medications.
  • It works well with other treatments be it medication or surgeries.
  • It lowers pain with the needle method and releases natural chemicals in the body such as endorphins.
  • It is medication free so no unnatural chemicals get into your body.
  • It is a great solution if pain medications do not work.
  • It helps you relieve stress and lowers depression.
  • It helps you improve your body’s function and promotes a natural self-healing process.

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Should Only Visit Trained Acupuncturists

One of the more persistent risks with acupuncture is the possibility of going through sham acupuncturists. Sham acupuncture is basically acupuncture performed by someone who isnt trained or licensed usually by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine . If youre going to an acupuncturist, make sure that they have their proper qualifications before agreeing to any session with them.

The most important reason as to why you should do this is because acupuncture has considerable risks when performed by someone who isnt trained. Some problems and complications include nerve damage, excessive bleeding, puncture of internal organs, and overall pain and discomfort. A trained acupuncturist will know what sites needles can be inserted safely, and can also advise aftercare when the session is done.

Acupuncture Works Better Than Sham Acupuncture And Medication In Relieving Pain

Acupuncture and back pain

In 11 randomized-controlled trials, acupuncture was found to be more effective than medication and sham acupuncture in relieving pain.33.Lee JH, e. . Acupuncture for acute low back pain: a systematic review. – PubMed – NCBI. Available at: .×

In a blinded, randomized controlled trial, 46 patients randomly undertook either acupuncture therapy or Placebo transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation . The patients went through 6 weeks of weekly treatment and were followed up after six months. Both groups showed improvements.44.Kerr DP, e. . Acupuncture in the management of chronic low back pain: a blinded randomized controlled trial. – PubMed – NCBI. Available at: .×

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Johnston Family Acupuncture Wants You To Live Free Of Back Pain

Acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years to treat ailments such as back pain, and nearly 80% of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their life. We at Johnston Family Acupuncture are licensed in the state of Massachusetts to practice acupuncture for back pain and other ailments. We will take into account your energetic and structural imbalances to help you recover from your current pain and help maintain a healthy, pain-free back.


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