Car Accident Back Pain

This is the second article in a series focusing on acupuncture for the treatment of back pain.

This is a case explaining how acupuncture can treat back pain after a car accident.

The patient is a young man in his early thirties who came to me for acupuncture for his back pain after being in a car accident.  The car accident had occurred over 2 years before he began treatment.  Despite therapy, the pain persisted.  The pain and tightness was focused in his lower back that sometimes radiated down his legs.

His back pain was very persistent, although he had no disc problems or nerve impairments diagnosed on his MRI.

The pain was very intense, it hurt all day during his job and even kept him from sleeping soundly.  It was difficult for him to exercise.  When people stop moving and using their region of pain, the pain is often exacerbated.

Naturally, his situation caused a lot of worry and anxiety that his condition would never improve.

Upon our first visit, I saw that he had restrited range of motion in his lower back.  It was difficult to bend forward or to the side.

I assessed his problem as qi and blood stagnation.

The Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain

Because he tended to have more stagnation than vacuity, I focused on increasing the circulation in the back.  To do this, I will tend to use more needles, electro-acupuncture, acupressure and tui na and cupping.

The points I used were on the lower back, such as UB 23, UB 25, UB 32, GB 30, Yao Yao, as well as points on the legs that open up the back channels.  UB 40 on the back of the knees is a special point for back pain.  I also used Kidney 3 to boost the kidneys and relieve the pain.    Electro-acupuncture was also used on the lower back to relieve the pain.  I used tui na rolling technique as well.

The Results

Chinese Fire Cups

After the first two visits his back pain began to diminish.  And he had increased range of flexibility.  By the fourth visit, his back pain, tightness, and tingling in his legs was much less.   After six visits, the pain was only minor.

At this point, I advised my patient to return to exercising.  Light cardiovascular and a stretching routine. Stretching is very important to maintain flexibility and prevent back pain in the long run.

We continued with four more weekly visits.  The pain was much diminished and range of motion had significantly returned.

The patient was now comfortable while working and was able to return to exercising.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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