Acupuncture and Back Pain
The information here is intended as guide to help you decide if acupuncture may be a suitable treatment for your condition and will outline my personal approach to back pain. Diagnostic scans are often required.I would always recommend a diagnosis from a GP as some back pain can be caused by a serious disease and will require medical intervention. Acupuncture may be useful in cases of non specific low back pain.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on best practice now recommend that GPs offer a course of 10 sessions of acupuncture as a first line treatment for persistent, non-specific low back pain.
Acupuncture can help back pain by:
providing pain relief – by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008). Reducing inflammation – (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007;Zijlstra 2003).improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility – by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling and bruising.reducing the use of medication for back complaints (Thomas 2006).providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time (Radcliffe 2006;Witt 2006).improving the outcome when added to conventional treatments such as rehabilitation exercises (Ammendolia 2008; Yuan 2008).
Some Common Causes of back pain
Heavy physical work
Pulling and pushing
Repetitive work patterns
Accidents or injuries
Acute or Chronic low back pain
Muscle shortness/ weakness/imbalance
Pain and referred pain
The initial diagnosis and consultation will consider your entire health history, check for muscle shortness/weakness/instability , check muscle firing patterns, range of movement within a joint or muscle group, check for triggers points or painful areas.
Treatment will then consist of
Remedial massage and soft tissue techniques
Heat lamp therapy- Promoting circulation and penetrates heat up to 3.5 inches into the body easing aches, sprains and spasms.
Advice and aftercare
Exercise including stretches for tight constricted muscles and strengthening for weak muscles
Herbal plasters designed to penetrate deep into affected parts of muscles and joints to relief pain after the treatment