Back pain is one of the most common health conditions. Back pain can have a number of different causes. The most prevalent are strains from lifting, exercising, or simply moving in the wrong direction. In this case, the lower back is significantly more likely to be injured when the muscles of the back and the abdominal muscles are weak. Another possible cause is osteoarthritis. Bulging or herniated discs can also cause back pain and stiffness by pressing on nerves coming from the spine, causing pain. Bone spurs (osteophytes) can cause pain by pressing on the nerves coming from the spine. If the sciatic nerve is pinched, inflamed, or damaged by any of the above causes, there may be a sharp pain which radiates down into the leg, called sciatica. Yet another cause of back pain in older patients is spinal stenosis, the narrowing of the passageway that contains the spinal cord.
Acupuncture can work on back pain on a number of different levels. As mentioned above, acupuncture can increase the production of endorphins in the brain to decrease the pain response. It can also help to improve circulation to speed up the healing process. Acupuncture also can work to relax the tightened muscles in the back to relieve some of the stress that may cause pinching of nerves exiting the spine. A study published in the British Medical Journal of September 2006 reported that acupuncture treatments provided great benefit for patients who suffer from low back pain, and is a cost-effective way to treat the problem. Patients who received acupuncture reported less pain two years later than those who did not receive acupuncture. Also, the acupuncture group was more likely to report having no pain at the one year mark, and reported less worry about their lower back pain and less use of pain medication.
Acupuncture and Low Back Pain
Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective mode of treatment for back pain, headaches and more.
According to Acupuncture Today:
Acupuncture can play an important role in the reduction or elimination of back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a chronic condition from developing.
Research has shown that acupuncture causes the body to produce natural steroids and promote the production of natural endorphins. Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins are produced by the body to kill pain. Both substances can play an integral part in the breaking up of the pain cycle.
By reducing acute back pain, acupuncture may also reduce the chances of chronic back pain from occurring. It can help avoid the need for costlier and more invasive surgical procedures. And if back pain can be significantly reduced with acupuncture, it also lowers the need for painkillers or other medications that can either cause unwanted side-effects or prolong a patient’s condition.
If you live in the Phoenix Arizona area and would like treatment for your low back pain please give us a call.