Case Study: Stress Induced Back Pain
This patient came to me with chronic back pain on the lower left side. When I asked where the pain was specifically, she pointed to the sacro iliac joint. This is a very common location for lower back pain.
She had back pain for a number of years and was not finding relief. Her pain was dull but persistent. While exercise made it feel better, the next day the pain was more intense. And the pain was worse with work stress.
The Underlying Cause: Qi Deficiency
Because of the chronic nature of the back pain and the weakness in the back muscles, this person does not have enough energy. In acupuncture this is called Qi Deficiency.
The muscle stiffness should be relieved but also the qi of the body needs to be boosted to prevent the pain from returning.
Acupuncture Treatment of Qi Deficiency Back Pain
To do this, I use fewer needles and more of a tonifying technique in the treatment. I also included acupressure. Focusing on points distal on the channels rather than at the pain helps. In this situation, I used 4 ashi, or ouch points, at the location of the pain. In addition I used UB 23, KI3, UB 40 to open up the back channel and Kidney 3 to boost the qi.
The acupuncture results
This patient responded remarkable well to the acupuncture. After only one treatment the pain had diminished greatly. The stiffness was much better and she was able to exercise without pain.
Gradually during the weeks that followed some pain returned. She followed up in two weeks for a second visit which provided pain relief again. Seeing that the treatments were effective but did not totally resolve the back pain, we created a maintenance schedule of coming once per month for a period of 6 months.
The effects of acupuncture are cumulative and each visit can be more dramatic in effect. After the 6 month treatment period she was mostly pain free with very little back pain.