Treating back pain with acupuncture has a long history, dating back to ancient China. This technique of using needles to promote healing and to relieve pain is considered mysticism and pseudoscience in some circles, but research shows it to be an effective method of treating pain, one that complements western medicine. Back pain acupuncture is also one of the simplest forms of acupuncture, as the patient may not even need to see the needles inserted into the skin, which can be a concern for those with a phobia toward needles.
In a typical treatment session, the patient lies face down while the acupuncturist inserts needles into the skin in the lower or middle back, depending on where the pain is. It’s a relatively simple procedure, and worth considering if you suffer from chronic or even occasional back pain. If the thought of needles is still too much even if you won’t see them, non-needle acupuncture may be an option.
What Does Research Say About Back Pain Acupuncture?
Research into acupuncture has suffered due to an ironic issue: how to “fake” acupuncture in control subjects to test the efficacy of genuine acupuncture? Using wooden needles, or needles made of some other material in place of metal inserted into the skin may actually have the same beneficial effects as true acupuncture needles.
One thing the research has shown is that acupuncture can relieve back pain, with few if any side effects. Acupuncture back pain points are well-mapped and a professional acupuncturist should be able to provide some relief.
The best way to determine whether a treatment such as acupuncture works for you is to try it and see, especially in cases of chronic pain where drugs or other treatments can have serious side effects – in some cases worse than the original condition. The side effects of acupuncture are comparitively minimal as long as you’re seeing a well-trained professional using single-use, sterile needles.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
The jury is still out on exactly how acupuncture functions to treat pain. Some theories suggest the needles stimulate pulses in nerves, causing endorphins in the brain. Other theories suggest they cause the release of natural painkillers at the location of the pain. While western medical practitioners are not certain how it works, the research does show that it may help patients, particularly those suffering lower back pain.
What You Need To Know In Planning An Acupuncture Session
Before setting an appointment with an acupuncturist, consult your physician or functional medicine practitioner. You may have conditions that make acupuncture problematic. Also, your doctor or medical practitioner may be familiar with acupuncturists in your area and can make recommendations. We offer Japanese-style acupuncture here in our Hong Kong clinic.
It’s important to find a qualified and certified acupuncturist. When you arrange to meet your acupuncturist, ask about his or her qualifications. Don’t be afraid to put the acupuncturist in the hot seat – those needles will be going into your back, after all.
Your First Session
When you attend your first session, be sure to wear clothing that comes off easily. The acupuncturist will need exposed skin. Ask him or her if there are other requirements you need to take into account. Ensure that you are comfortable.
Ongoing Treatment Through Back Pain Acupuncture
Research shows that acupuncture may provide only short-term relief, so you may need an ongoing course of treatment with acupuncture. (If you think this is different from other treatments such as drugs, keep in mind, each pill has only a short-term effect also). Often a weekly session can be sufficient to manage chronic pain. If acupuncture isn’t for you, we also treat back pain with osteopathy, kinesiology, and physiotherapy. Our Integrative clinic can find the right solution to bring you relief.