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How Effective Is Acupuncture For Back Pain

Chiropractic Care For Back Pain

Is Acupuncture Effective in Treating Low Back Pain?

Chiropractic professionals care for the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. If you have back pain due to sciatica, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs or another medical condition, you may be a candidate for spinal manipulation or other chiropractic services.

Spinal manipulation is a conventional therapy that involves having a chiropractor use their hands or a small device to apply controlled pressure to your spine. This chiropractic treatment has been shown to reduce pain and improve function, all without the use of opioid medications. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, one study showed that people with back and leg pain reported a reduction in pain after 12 weeks of receiving spinal manipulation and participating in an exercise program. They also reported using less pain medication one year later.

How Does This Work

Electroacupuncture is a type of acupuncture that uses electrical stimulation to stimulate the release of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that eliminate pain signals from the brain and produce a feeling of euphoria. This can be helpful in managing both chronic and acute pain.

Studies have shown that 1-5 Hz frequency stimulations produce b-endorphins, which are more powerful than morphine and other allopathic drugs. When applied to specific points on the body, electroacupuncture can stimulate the spinal nerves to produce endorphins.

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Though a limited number of physical therapy sessions are generally covered by insurance, coverage is rare for other nondrug approaches, despite the evidence behind them. In 2020, Medicare started covering acupuncture for the treatment of lower back pain for the first time.

Yoga classes or a dozen acupuncture sessions cost more than a generic prescription for pain pills, and there’s a whole system set up to provide the drugs, Jonas said.

Because of those added costs, it’s not yet clear whether approaches like the VA’s Whole Health program will ultimately save money, said Dr. Ben Kligler, executive director for the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation with the Veterans Health Administration. A recent study was inconclusive on cost savings, and additional studies are underway.

But veterans who participated in Whole Health were able to reduce their average opioid use faster and by a significantly larger amount than veterans who didn’t use the program. Whole Health participants with chronic back pain were 20% to 30% less likely to need invasive spine procedures, like surgery or neurostimulation, than veterans who didn’t participate.

“If people do better, even if you don’t save money, it’s still the right thing to do,” Kligler said.

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Strengths And Limitations Of This Study

  • The standardised intervention procedures.

  • The performance of a pilot study and the development of software led to improved logistics and increased response rate.

  • Lower inclusion rates than expected reduced the power, leading to weaker conclusions about the effectiveness of the treatment.

  • Trial logistic reasons led to per-protocol analysis instead of intention-to-treat analysis.

Pinpointing The Benefits Of Acupuncture For Back Pain

Most Important Acupressure Points for Back Pain Relief

A staple of traditional Chinese medicine , acupuncture or needling has been used to treat back pain for over 2000 years.

Needless to say, 2000 years ago, our concept of biology was in its earliest stages. The ancients had yet to invent technologies, like microscopes, that would enable them to study diseases. But, they understood that something vital must exist beneath the surface. In other words, they knew that there were forces that could make you sick and practices that could promote healing.

If any one of these pathways became blocked, then the ancients believed that you would become sick. At its outset, acupuncture sought to restore the flow of Qi by using needles to redirect and open up energy flow. However, now scientists believe that acupuncture works by harnessing the chemical energy stored in our nervous system.

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The Effects Of Acupuncture On Back Pain

Acupuncture has a long history in China, dating back over 2,500 years. It entails the insertion of tiny needles into specific bodily locations. The body possesses almost 2,000 of these spots, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Pathways or meridians connect them, creating a flow of energy known as Qi . The stimulation of these sites is thought to repair qi imbalances and promote energy flow. This, according to practitioners, helps to ease pain and promote health.

The effects are thought to be caused by activating the central nervous system. Chemicals may be released into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain as a result of this. These substances either modify the way you feel about pain or cause physical changes that make you feel better.

Acupuncture, according to certain theories, works by:

  • Increasing the speed with which electromagnetic impulses are relayed. This may trigger the release of pain-relieving molecules like endorphins. It could also cause the body to discharge immune system cells.
  • The release of natural opioids is triggered. These are brain chemicals that may help with pain relief or sleep.
  • Changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones to affect brain chemistry. Nerve impulses are either stimulated or dampened by neurotransmitters. Neurohormones can influence the function or activity of a body organ.

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Common Causes Of Back Pain

Back pain has many causes, but some are more common than others:

  • Sciatica: Sciatica is caused by inflammation, irritation or pinching of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips. It commonly occurs when a herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve.
  • Disc herniations: A herniation occurs when the outer layer of a disc tears or ruptures. In the spine, discs cushion the vertebrae and provide shock absorption. If you have a herniated disc in your lower back, you may also have pain in your buttocks and legs. With a herniated disc in the upper back, it’s common to have pain in the arm or shoulder.
  • Stenosis: Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. In addition to back pain, spinal stenosis typically causes muscle weakness, tingling and numbness.
  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis develops when one of the small bones in the spine slips out of place. This condition usually develops in the lower back.
  • Spondylosis: Spondylosis develops due to wear and tear on the discs, vertebrae, cartilage and ligaments of the spine.
  • Facet syndrome: In people with facet syndrome, the joints in the spine become inflamed, causing back pain. This condition is similar to arthritis because it prevents the affected joint from moving normally.
  • Degenerative disc disease: As you age, the outer casing of your discs can crack or dry out, making them less effective at shock absorption.

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The Causes Of Back Pain

Sometimes it can seem as though there are almost as many causes for back pain as there are people who experience it. Any or a combination of the structures that make up the lower back can be affected, including the vertebrae , muscles, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. The lower, or lumbar, spine is particularly vulnerable, in part due to its high degree of mobility. The lower spine is made up of the lumbar and sacral vertebrae , the nerves that make up the spinal cord, and the muscles and ligaments that allow us to move.

Muscle strain is a common cause of lower back pain. Also known as a pulled muscle, a strain is caused when a muscle is overstretched or torn due to improper use, overuse, or fatigue. A myriad of structural problems can also cause back pain. Bulging, herniated, or ruptured discs can put pressure on nerves, sometimes causing severe pain. Compressed nerves can cause symptoms such as pain, tingling, and numbness. Still other causes include scoliosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, spinal infection, or a spinal tumor. Kidney pain can also cause lower back ache.

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Acupuncture Treatments : Acupuncture as Treatment for Back Pain

Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine has skilled acupuncturists available to treat lower back pain caused by injuries and degenerative conditions. To learn more about how acupuncture and other conventional treatments help relieve pain and improve physical functioning, call 653-1000 or request an appointment online.

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Points To Consider About Acupuncture

If other treatments have failed and you are considering acupuncture, discuss it with your doctor. Be sure to let your doctor know any other medications you are taking. Also tell your doctor if you are pregnant, wear a pacemaker, or have any type of implant.

Your doctor may be able to refer you to a licensed acupuncturist. You may also contact the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture for the name of a doctor who does acupuncture.

Before starting acupuncture, find out if your health insurance will pay for it. Also ask how many treatments you should expect and how much they will cost.

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Implications For Clinical Practice

In this study, we found that acupuncture therapy could relieve pain in acute LBP however, the conclusion should be interpreted carefully because of the high heterogeneity in our analysis. In future studies, researchers should expand the numbers of included patients to strengthen the conclusions, supply more details about the manipulation of the acupuncture therapy, and standardize trials’ performance.

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Highly Effective Electro Acupuncture Protocols For Back Pain

Do you want to know the highly effective electro-acupuncture protocols for back pain? Over 80% of the worlds population will suffer from back pain at some time in their life. It is the number one reason patients seek us out for care. Lets discuss the most highly effective electro acupuncture protocols for back pain. Electro Acupuncture can provide long-lasting relief without the need for medication. Lets take a closer look at how it works.

Acupoints Or Acupressure Points For Back And Neck Pain

Acupuncture treatment for back pain in Chennai by expereinced ...

Manual acupressure targets specific pointsthe acupointsto activate your bodys natural ability to reduce different types of pain and associated symptoms. Below are common acupressure points that may help ease back and neck pain:

  • Spleen 6: Located inside your leg above your ankle, this point may be targeted if you have pelvic pain, fatigue, or sleep problems.
  • Stomach 36: Situated four-fingers-width down from the bottom of your kneecap, this point may help reduce stress and fatigue.
  • Large Intestine 6: Located at the top of the muscle where the thumb and index fingers are joined, this point may help reduce headaches, neck pain, and stress.
  • Pericardium 6: Located three-fingers-width down on the inside of the wrist, putting pressure on this point may ease headaches.
  • Gallbladder 21: Situated halfway between the top of the neck and shoulder, this acupoint may ease neck and shoulder stiffness and pain, and headaches.
  • Triple Energizer 3: Stimulated to help ease upper back pain, headaches, neck stiffness, and shoulder pain, this acupoint is located in the groove between the fourth finger and pinky.
  • Large Intestine 10: Located on the front side of the elbow, this point may be pressed to relieve shoulder pain and neck tightness.

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Benefits Of Acupuncture For Low Back Pain

June 26, 2020 By Alex Hirsch

The most common type of chronic pain is low back pain caused by muscle, ligament, nerve, and spine injuries. Many therapists believe that one of the best forms of treatment for low back pain is acupuncture.

Acupuncture has been an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, and it is believed to date back to at least 100 B.C. This treatment uses hair-thin needles inserted into specific points in the body in order to balance the patients internal energy, also called Chi or Qi in acupuncture.

As reported by the Mayo Clinic, many studies which have analyzed patients results after sham acupuncture and true acupuncture have shown to yield the same effects, as patients experienced reduced back pain either way. These studies also found that having acupuncture lessens back pain better than receiving no treatment.

Findings Concerning Previous Reports

In a previous meta-analysis published in 2020, researchers found that acupuncture could reduce the pain in acute and chronic non-specific LBP when the VAS and RMDQ scores were compared with sham or placebo acupuncture used as outcomes . In our paper, we focused only on acute LBP and selected the VAS, ODI, and RMDQ scores and the NOP as outcomes, which reflected the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy on more levels. In a meta-analysis and systematic review published in 2015, researchers found that acupressure, acupuncture, and cupping could effectively treat the disability and pain associated with chronic LBP . Our analysis focused on acute LBP, selected acupuncture treatment as the intervention, and medication or sham acupuncture as control groups, and found similar results.

All in all, both our study and previous studies have demonstrated that acupuncture has significant effects in alleviating acute LBP symptoms on different levels, and it is obvious that acupuncture could be used to treat acute LBP.

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Patient And Public Involvement

No patients were involved in the planning of the study or in the recruitment and the conduct of the study. The study participants were informed that the results of the study would be presented at the study Facebook page. The burden of the intervention could be reported by the patients through the questionnaires of global improvement and adverse events.

How To Find A Certified Acupressure Practitioner

Acupuncture For Neck and Lower Back Pain

Because acupressure is a form of TCM, finding a qualified practitioner is different than finding a mainstream, Western medicine clinician.

A good place to start your search is by visiting the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine website, which features a list of all certified TCM providers, including acupressure practitioners. Finding a certified acupressure therapist is important, as its often necessary to achieve licensure in many states.

Other places to look include searching for your states TCM/Oriental medicine professional associations, which may help connect you to local, qualified practitioners. Some cities are also home to TCM schools or training programs, which are another great source for qualified acupressure therapists.

Community resources, including health food stores, holistic health providers, and spas, may also help connect you to a qualified acupressure practitioner.

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How Does Acupuncture Relieve Lower Back Pain

But how does acupuncture help with back pain, specifically?

Acupuncture helps relieve back pain by targeting the pressure points at the back of the body. Needles are inserted at various points, which roughly correspond to the energy centers or meridians that affect body function. There are some specific meridians that acupuncture can use to affect the lower back, including but not limited to:

  • Back of the knees

The needles are inserted in specific nerve clusters around these areas, which are thought to help relieve tension, pressure, and overall pain in the lower back. Its important to note that acupuncture has different meridians for pain on other parts of the body. Each needle is pinpointed to a specific area, which means more localized treatment.

But how does sticking needles in your body help with lower back pain? There are three major theories how this helps:

Acupuncture Addresses The Root Causes Of Back Pain

Like chiropractic, acupuncture works to relieve back pain by getting to the root of the problem. With chiropractic adjustments, we help reverse misalignments in the spine that are causing pain, as well as the other factors that are causing that misalignment.

Acupuncture takes a similar approach, but in a slightly different way. Rather than adjusting the spine, acupuncture needles adjust the flow of blood and Qi through the area of pain and the body as a whole. This not only helps the weakened or injured tissues of the back heal, but also supports whole-body balance to improve back health from the root.

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How Effective Is Acupuncture For Back Pain

Acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of conditions, from circulatory disorders to respiratory problems. Its also been proven to decrease back pain. People who choose acupuncture for back pain often report reduced pain and improvements in functional ability.

For people receiving health care for low back pain, symptoms are found to improve significantly in the first six weeks, but pain may linger even after one year, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers from Australia and Brazil examined data from 33 studies to understand the clinical course of pain and disability in people receiving care for low back pain. The typical course of low back pain is initially favorable there is a marked reduction in pain and disability in the first six weeks, says Christopher Maher, M.D., of the University of Sydney, Australia. Beyond six weeks, improvement slows and thereafter only small reductions in pain and disability are apparent up to one year.

At one year, patients who initially presented with acute low back pain still experienced minimal pain and disability. The typical improvement in pain intensity was about 90 percent. Those who initially presented with chronic low back pain experienced moderate levels of pain and disability at one year. The typical improvement in their pain was only about 50 percent.

  • Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Strains and sprains

The Surprising Benefits Of Acupuncture For Low Back Pain

Lower back pain? Self

A study conducted on over 18,000 subjects has found that acupuncture relieved back pain by up to 50 percent. This centuries-old practice alleviates pain and discomfort by affecting neurotransmitters, immune function, and hormone levels. Additionally, it has none of the side effects caused by pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

The use of acupuncture for back pain has increased dramatically over the past decades. Studies revealed major differences between acupuncture and placebo subjects after receiving treatment. This form of therapy has been shown to increase pain threshold and elicit positive responses. Most people are able to resume their daily activities, return to work, and exercise after just a few sessions.

The benefits of acupuncture are due to its ability to stimulate the release of natural opioids in the body. Unlike medications, this therapy works on long term. If youâre struggling with low back pain, contact an acupuncturist. After assessing your symptoms, he or she will create an individualized plan that fits your needs.

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