Using Acupuncture For Back Pain Conditions
Acupuncture is an ancient alternative medical practice that has been used for centuries by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the management of a variety of conditions. It is especially helpful in conditions such as chronic pain syndrome.
In particular, acupuncture may be beneficial in the management of persistent low back pain, chronic tension headaches, and migraine headaches.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture for tension related headaches, migraine, and severe lower back pains.
The World Health Organization United Nations Deems These Conditions Appropriate For Acupuncture:
- Back pain
- Muscle cramping
- Muscle pain/weakness
- Neck pain
- Sciatica pain
Acupuncture in helping Chronic Low Back Pain
According to WebMD, almost 80 percent of us will have some type of back pain over the course of our lifetimes. Some people see their primary care physician for physical therapy and medications to control the pain, while others seek the advice of a qualified acupuncturist in order to have acupuncture relieve their chronic low back pain.
Research has shown that acupuncture may be a good treatment for managing chronic low back pain. In one review article, 22 clinical studies were combined that showed acupuncture was effective in managing chronic low back pain, although the effects were not long lasting. Those patients, who got acupuncture as opposed to a placebo acupuncture treatment, had a decrease in their subjective sense of pain in the lower back.
The same studies showed that, when acupuncture was compared to standard medical treatment for low back pain, acupuncture outperformed the traditional therapy. These studies prompted guidelines from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society to endorse acupuncture as an effective way of managing chronic low back pain.
Acupuncture and Lower Back Pain
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific areas of the body. There are more than 2000 different acupuncture points that are connected by energy pathways, known as meridians. The energy that flows through these meridians is called qi energy. When the specific acupuncture points have needles inserted in them, the back pain is relieved, and the flow of qi energy is enhanced.
It is believed by Western scientists that acupuncture works through its stimulating effect on the central nervous system (CNS). It may cause the release of pain-relieving chemicals in the brain, spinal cord, or muscles, thereby relieving the pain. Others think that acupuncture increases the passage of electromagnetic, causing a rush of endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
It may also be that acupuncture alters brain chemistry, changing the way neurohormones and neurotransmitters are released by nerve cells in the brain. This change in neurotransmitters may turn on or off nerve impulses related to the subjective symptoms of pain.