Acupuncture’s Unique Treatment of Back Pain

People with back pain often find relief in acupuncture after other treatments have not worked.

From a Chinese medicine and acupuncture point of view, this is because the underlying imbalance was not corrected.  A successful treatment must be tailored specifically to what is going on with your back.

Physiologically, it is because acupuncture works holistically with the body, address many levels of the pain and condition.  It works to relax the muscles, stimulate healing in the connective tissues, and reset the nervous system.

What are the imbalances that would need correcting?

There is an old saying in Acupuncture.  “When there is no movement, there is pain.  When there is movement, there is no pain.”

Qi, the body’s energy flows through the body.  When the flow slows down or stops we develop what is called stagnation.  When there is no flow, pain develops.  Car accident, sports injury, and stress can lead to development of stagnation.

Deficiency is when there is not enough energy in body.  The body needs qi, or energy, in order to function healthy.  This will often happen slowly, over a long period of time the qi becomes weaker.

Acupuncture therapy is Individualized for Each Patient

The initial acupuncture visit will have an examination and assessment of what is the root cause of the back pain.  After that, I will develop individualized acupuncture treatment for that person.

The skill of effective acupuncture is matching the correct treatment to the root cause of the back pain.  This involves choosing the correct acupuncture points, deciding what type of stimulation to give the acupuncture needles, and if I should use electro -acupuncture stimulation.

I also include acupressure, cupping, or gua sha as supplemental therapies for back pain.  For some people we may also use ear magnets or auricular acupuncture, which is very powerful for pain relief.  The proper combination of these treatments leads to profound and long term pain relief.

In the next couple posts I will share three stories to illustrate how acupuncture can help back pain.  The first is a patient who had chronic back pain after a car accident, the second is a marathon runner who developed back pain while training, and the third is a woman with chronic back pain that gets much worse during periods of stress.

photo: bateskobashigawa

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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