Around 80% of people will experience some type of back pain at least once during their lifetime. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that acupuncture is a valid and effective treatment for all types of back pain (lower, middle, and upper back pain). The WHO studied how acupuncture is able to treat over 40 different health issues in various clinical studies that were published in its official publication Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. In the West, people are often persuaded to think that there are very limited options available for back pain – more so if traditional medicine or chiropractic care has proved unsuccessful. But before you throw in the towel, you first need to take a closer look at how acupuncture can help improve your mobility and eliminate your back pain.
What is Acupuncture?
A treatment that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture is deemed a holistic type of medical system that has been continuously practiced since its discovery. In practice, acupuncture uses filiform needles that are stuck into certain points in the body at variable depths. When inserted the needles typically cause no pain; some patients, however will feel a light pricking sensation. In certain instances, tension at the point of insertion can be released if the treatment is designed to address a specific acute condition.
Is Acupuncture Really Effective at Treating Back Pain?
New peer-reviewed studies reveal that in treating back pain, acupuncture truly works. The Journal of Internal Medicine featured a study showing that 60% of patients who were administered with acupuncture experienced marked improvements. In addition, those improvements still continued in 65% of those patients a year later. Also, both the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society endorse acupuncture for the relief of back pain.
Lower back pain, from the viewpoint of Western medicine, can be the result of a number of issues ranging from muscle tension to spinal problems. According to acupuncture and Eastern medicine, an energy known as qi flows within the human body along channels known as meridians. There over 2,000 acupuncture points scattered throughout our bodies and they can be stimulated to change patterns or release blockages within the body. In Western medical science, this is believed to activate the production and release of chemicals and neurotransmitters to promote health and eliminate pain.
What to Expect During Your First Visit?
Your accredited acupuncturist will perform a full examination during your initial visit. This will likely involve conducting a medical history, and asking questions about your health. After reviewing your medical history, your acupuncturist will conduct an Eastern style physical examination that will involve the examination of your tongue and palpation of your pulse. Other steps may be undertaken to collect more information regarding your situation. A series of treatments will be recommended by your acupuncturist that will include how many times you need to visit your acupuncturist each week and how long the entire treatment would last.
Your first actual treatment is often also during your first visit. The next sessions, if needed, will be scheduled. While the acupoints selected for back pain treatment may vary depending on your unique constitution and the cause of your issues, the points usually chosen are the ones located as the back of the knee, buttocks, and back, and above the back of the knee.
It’s tough living with back pain. Besides the chronic pain a lot of sufferers find their activities are limited either because they worry of making the pain worse or mobility issues. Consulting with a qualified acupuncturist near your area can be the most effective way for resolving back pain and preventing them from reoccurring over the long-term.