Low back pain has a slew of causes including acute or chronic lumbar strain, issues with the nerves, bone and joint conditions, and spinal disc herniation. Whatever the cause of low back pain, it can be debilitating, limit movement, and interfere with your lifestyle. Instead of turning to pain killers or surgery, which can have devastating side effects, consider receiving acupuncture treatments from a licensed practitioner.
An acupuncturist will develop a diagnosis before palpating different points on the body. The practitioner will choose acupuncture points that are related to the underlying cause of the pain to not only relieve symptoms, but also treat the source of the low back discomfort. By placing needles into specific points, qi is directed away from areas of excess and into areas of deficiency. When qi is harmonized, the body’s natural internal healing system is activated. The associated body systems will be strengthened and external causes, such as damp or cold, will be addressed for long-lasting relief.
Western medicine has a different take on how acupuncture works. Researchers believe that the placement of acupuncture needles relieves muscle spasms in the low back and encourages the brain to release neurochemicals, hormones, and natural pain-relieving opioids.
Still not convinced? Consider some of the studies that have proven the efficacy of acupuncture for low back pain:
• An article in Acupuncture Today titled, “Acupuncture Provides Long-Term Relief of Low Back Pain,” noted a Swedish study where those with low back pain were given either real acupuncture or sham acupuncture. Participants who received real acupuncture experienced a significant improvement in pain and activity level, as well as quality of sleep. The acupuncture group also decreased their reliance of analgesics. The results were long-term.
• Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine conducted a study analysis and determined that acupuncture is often more effective than standard treatments for low back pain. Individuals who received traditional acupuncture experienced substantial pain relief.
A study author stated, “From our analysis, the message for people with chronic low back pain is that acupuncture is a truly effective therapy that provides significant pain relief…The research also showed the benefit was not just do to the placebo effect.”
In addition, the researcher noted that treatments, such as medication and chiropractic care, aren’t always helpful. In fact, studies have shown that these treatments have only “modest effectiveness.”
If your low back pain hasn’t been responsive to other remedies or you would like to try a virtually painless treatment with no side effects, acupuncture is for you. Always visit a licensed acupuncturist for safety and to glean the most benefit from the ancient form of medicine. Visit TryAcupuncture.org to find a licensed acupuncturist in your area.