Acupuncture for Back Pain
Back Pain is the number One reason for people seeking acupuncture. The majority of people who seek out this kind of relief do so for musculoskeletal problems, including low back pain, shoulder stiffness and knee pain. Thankfully, Back pain is one problem acupuncture is proven to help relieve.
As this type of medicine is a complementary therapy, it is usually used in conjunction with conventional therapy or medicine. Acupuncture began in China more than 2500 years ago. Today it is one of the most popular of traditional Chinese medicines used in western society for Back Care.
It is not completely understood how acupuncture scientifically works, however there are a few ways it can be known to work. When the needle is applied to the skin at certain points it Stimulates the nerve. The nerve sends signals to the brain, and the brain releases neural hormones. Acupuncture excites the biochemical responses in the human body via the nerves.
Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine, which involves the insertion of fine needles into specific sites along the body’s energy pathways. The needles that are used are solid rather than hollow as hypodermic needles are. In neuroscience acupuncture points are seen as spots where nerve, muscle and connective tissue can be stimulated.
The Eastern Explanation
If you are speaking from an Eastern belief, or the traditional explanation for the effectiveness of acupuncture, is that it modifies the flow of energy throughout the body. This energy is known as Qi.
Qi is the balance of ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. Where there is an imbalance is when illness happens. Qi is believed to flow through the pathways of the body.
There are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points in the body which are connected by 20 pathways. These pathways or meridians conduct energy (Qi) between the surface of the body and the internal organs. Eastern belief is that illness and disease is caused by the disruption to the flow of energy (Qi) in the body. When the needle is inserted through the specific points it stimulates the nerve to activate the flow of energy.
How It Works
Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) through releasing chemicals, including endorphin’s and other neuro-chemicals. It unblocks and moves the body’s energy through the body’s functions, such as, the nervous, circulatory, muscular, respiratory and digestive systems. The opioid like chemicals produced have similar properties to opioid painkillers. The natural chemicals may either change the pain experience or it trigger’s the release of other natural chemicals that influence the body’s ability to regulate pain. It also stimulates neurotransmitters that send messages to shut off pain. It triggers electromagnetic impulses in the body which speeds up the body’s way of handling pain. The improved energy and biochemical balanced produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities.
The Back and Acupuncture
The low back is susceptible to strain and pain due to it’s weight bearing function as well as it’s connection with movement. Muscle strain happens when fibers are over-stretched or torn, usually as a result muscle cramping or spasms also occur as well as a decreased range of motion. Back pain acupuncture may help to reduce acute or chronic back pain while improving mobility and flexibility.
An Acupuncturist will treat the pain as well as the root cause. They work on normalizing points within the body which allow for balance.
Some Acupuncture points used for lower back pain are:
- Back of the knee points – to reduce stiffness in the back and sciatica
- Lower back point – also known as ‘Sea of Vitality’, applying pressure to this point offers pain relief from the lower back as well as sciatica.
- Hand points – are directly connected to stress and stiffness.
- Hipbone points – pressure applied to this point will help relieve hip and lower back pain, as well as sciatica and pelvic stress.
- Stomach points – also called the ‘Sea of Energy’. Applying pressure to the stomach point helps to strengthen abdominal muscles, which can eliminate lower back pain before it rises.
Points for the upper back pain are:
- On the Head
- Upper Back.
Benefits of acupuncture for back pain relief include:
- Increased Circulation
- Decreased stress levels
- Improved Immune system
- Pain relief
- Increased movement and mobility
- Increased strength
- Increased energy and vitality
Acupuncture is indeed an effective and safe way to help relieve your back pain. As it is holistic and treats the underlying issue as well as the pain, it is a great alternative to pain treatment for Back Pain.