Acupuncture Treatment for Back Pain
A sore back can affect you at any age and can range from mild to debilitating. It can follow times of both activity and inactivity. I see many people seeking a solution to end their pain. Complaints include descriptions of pain which is:
- with limiting range of movement
Causes of Back Pain
Pain in your back may originate anywhere along the length of the spine. It may be due to overworked, tired muscles which may tighten and restrict blood flow. An injury of any muscles of the back such as a muscle strain during a fall. There may be damage to the bones of the spine or ribs. Finally there may be damage or degeneration between the vertebrae, including the spongy discs in between. This can often lead to nerve impingement which can be felt along the limbs.
These issues may be diagnosed by a Dr. as any of the following:
- Repetitive strain injury
- Musculo- skeletal injury
- Disk degeneration (osteoporosis)
- Nerve impingement
- Herniated or bulging disk.
How does Acupuncture treat back pain?
Acupuncture works in several ways to treat pain.
- Increasing blood flow to the area
- Regulating the nervous system to alter pain response
- Activating the body’s own pain killers
For a more in depth explanation of these mechanisms you can read The Science of Acupuncture and Pain Relief
Each treatment may take about 45mins. If you’re able to lie face down, your practitioner will generally feel around the site of pain and along the length of muscles and adjoining muscles. Needles are inserted into the selected points. This is generally a fairly painless process. A TENS machine is often attached between needle pairs. This small electric current passes through the muscles and tissues increasing the effect of the treatment. After about 20mins, the needles are removed, you can roll over onto your back. Most people find this very relaxing and if you haven’t had a little snooze yet, you probably will now.
How long does acupuncture take to work?
Peoples experience of acupuncture will differ. Research shows a pain reducing effect may take an hour. Some people feel immediate difference. Certain conditions may take a few treatments to really feel an effect. Acupuncture is a cumulative treatment. The positive effect is increased when treatments are given only a few days apart. Reports show that acupuncture has lasting effects.
Chinese Herbal treatment to reduce pain and aid healing.
Herbal capsules are a powerful accompaniment to acupuncture treatment. Especially for those looking to reduce or avoid pharmaceutical medication. Herbs are used to increase blood flow to assist the removal and breakdown of damaged tissue and also alleviate pain. They aim to relax muscles, promote regeneration of injured tissues and allow the body to respond to stress more efficiently. Formulas vary due to individual conditions. As the physical symptoms improve, the formulas may be changed. Below are some of the herbs commonly used for treating a sore back.
Bai Shao (Peony), Dang Gui (Angelica), Chuan Xiong (Cnidium): to nourish and circulated blood.
Du Zhong (Eucommia), Xu Duan (Dipsacus) strengthens bones and sinews and relieves pain.
Rou Gui (Cinnamon) warms and frees movement.
Ge Gen (Pueraria) relieves stiffness and general body ache.
Gan Cao (Licorice) harmonises the actions of other herbs and relaxes muscles.