Back Pain

How Acupuncture Helps.

screaming back pain


Back pain is in fact, one of the top reasons people seek medical care. Back pain is a very common problem that affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. Low back pain, tight traps, and knots in rhomboids all can become a chronic or ongoing problem that will eventually lead to dysfunction and pain in a nearby limb. Unfortunately, back pain isn’t always easy to diagnose or treat with Western Medicine. Everyone knows atleast one person who is struggling to manage back pain with nothing more than a fist full of prescribed pills, physically therapy (PT) and perseverance. When the pills and PT fail the last resort is surgery. However, Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is more common than people care to talk about.

What if long before the hail Mary pass of surgery is thrown, there were more options than pills and PT?

Well, there is. Acupuncture and Oriental (AOM) medicine are very effective in treating back pain. They can also be used together with Western medical treatment to maximize your healing and recovery. In other words, whether you have a simple acute problem or a serious chronic conundrum, AOM can improve not only your pain but your quality of life in general. Acupuncture is not only awesome for controlling pain but also helping the body to recover and stabilize after a debilitating issue and prevent re-occurrence of the same problem in the future. In addition, if you do have to go through surgery AOM is complimentary to whatever procedures you and your doctor decide to use to get you on the path to wellness. As a licensed primary care provider your local acupuncturist can plan ahead with your Western Doctors as a part of a team to help you get the best outcomes. That means your favorite acupuncturist can help you to recover faster and keep your immune system in tip top shape to help minimize potential side effects and negative health consequences.

What causes Back Pain

There are many possible causes for back pain. For example, injuries and lifestyle issues like:

  • improper lifting,
  • sudden movements or traumatic injury can result in strained muscles or ligaments,
  • poor posture,
  • lack of exercise and a sedentary life style,
  • stress,
  • exacerbation of an old injury,
  • poor sleeping quarters

Other culprits can include more serious and or chronic conditions including

  • arthritis,
  • structural abnormalities of the spine,
  • discs bulging or rupturing and putting pressure on a nerve.

However back pain can have nothing to do with the spine or musculature directly. Instead can be due to internal disorders like:

  • menstrual cramps,
  • constipation,back pain
  • kidney problems,
  • shingles,
  • autoimmune disorders,
  • pregnancy, and
  • even heart issues like aneurysms and cardiac incidents can all be causes of back pain.

This is by no means a complete list. I simply want to give you an idea of how complex the issue of back pain can be.

AOM a More Natural Approach

An acupuncturist will not only work to relieve your symptoms, but will also aim to find and treat the underlying cause(s) of your pain. Because AOM is a way of treating the whole body secondary complaints related to the main issues can also be alleviated. There are multiple studies available to show how acupuncture and Oriental medicine provided long-term pain relief along with improvement in physical activity levels, quality of sleep and diminished use of pain medication.

In a recent German study, patients reported the acupuncture treatment that they received were more effective for lower back pain than most conventional treatments.  This study yielded such impressive results that acupuncture is now considered a mainstream treatment in Germany and is covered by state health insurance.

AOM is based on the concept that energy called Qi  (pronounced “chee”), flows through the body along different pathways to different organs and areas of the body. If the body’s energy becomes stagnant, unbalanced or deficient, symptoms such as back pain, aches and inflammation can result. This can help for any number of reasons, such as injury, illness, and emotional imbalances. According to AOM, possible causes of back pain include:

-Stagnation-A pain that is often linked to sudden, stopping, severe pain that is related to sprains, strains or trauma. It can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness and becomes worse with rest.

-Obstruction- A pain that is generally worse in the morning and exacerbated by cold or damp weather. This type of pain condition may be associated with numbness, swelling and a sense of ” heaviness.”  Heat improves this condition.

-Deficiency-  A pain is usually a chronic condition that presents with a “dull” pain and improves with rest.

On the Path to Balance 

Once your practitioner has determined the cause(s) of your back pain, they will design a specific treatment plan to address your concerns and boost your overall health and vitality. During acupuncture treatment, your practitioner will insert fine, needles into specific acupuncture point on the body in order to restore the body back to its natural balance. Acupuncturist may also perform cupping, tui na, moxibaustion, and other types of therapy, based on your unique issues and symptoms.

Cool facts: effective back pain self-care techniques:

-Improve your posture. Examine your posture in a mirror. Trying to balance your weight evenly when walking and standing. Horse stance or holding the ball are excellent for helping to improve posture.

-Exercise. Keep your core muscles strong with regular exercise. Tai Qi is a gentle and effective option.

-Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your health and contribute to pain.

-Take a hot Epsom salts bath the magnesium is great for helping relieve muscle tension.

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