Low Back Pain Treatment: Acupuncture & Chiropractic
Back pain is a very common problem–one that will strike four out of five Americans at some time in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons people seek medical care. Unfortunately, back pain isn’t always easy to diagnose or relieve. Lower back pain in particular can become a chronic or ongoing problem.
Acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and chiropractic are very effective in treating lower back pain naturally. They can also be used together with traditional Western treatments to maximize your healing and recovery.
What Are The Most Common Causes of Back Pain?
There are many possible causes for lower back pain, including strained muscles or ligaments, often caused by improper lifting, sudden movements or traumatic injury. Other culprits can include arthritis, structural abnormalities of the spine, or the discs between the vertebrae bulging or rupturing and pressing on a nerve.
The most common causes of lower back pain include:
- Poor posture habits (sitting, standing and sleeping)
- Sudden injuries (including car accident injuries, sports, personal and work-related injuries)
- Poor physical conditioning (weak, easily strained core muscles)
- Disc Bulges and Herniated Disc
- Other causes such as overweight, arthritis, and kidney stones
How Does Acupuncture for Back Pain Work?
“Acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain. Patients experienced not only reduced pain intensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain, and therefore in their quality of life.“ – H. Endres, MD, Ruhr-University Bochum
Our chiropractor | acupuncture practitioner can skillfully and effectively treat all of these underlying causes to provide pain relief. Your treatment plan may include:
Acupuncture and TCM: Our acupuncturist in Fairfax will not only work to relieve your symptoms, but will also work to find and treat the underlying cause of your pain. In a study conducted at a Swedish hospital, doctors concluded that acupuncture provided long-term relief along with improvements in physical activity levels, quality of sleep and the diminished use of pain medication.
Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment: Our chiropractor will diagnose the locations where vertebrae are out of alignment and apply quick, gentle adjustments that correct these problems. Spinal adjustments release pinched nerves and provide lasting, natural relief. In addition to back pain relief, chiropractic care restores function and prevention of injury.
Therapeutic Exercise and Ergonomics Counseling: Our chiropractor will teach you specific stretches and exercises to help you improve your flexibility, range of motion and core strength. Our chiropractor can also advise you on more ergonomic ways to perform daily tasks so that you avoid future injury risks.
Acupuncture for Low Back Pain
Acupuncture and TCM are based on the concept that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. If Qi becomes stagnant, unbalanced or deficient, symptoms such as back pain, ache and inflammation can result. This can happen for any number of reasons, from injury and illness to stress or external invaders such as wind or dampness. Back pain can arise from disharmonies such as:
- Stagnation – type pain that is often linked to sudden, stabbing, severe pain and related to sprains, strains or trauma. It can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness and becomes worse with rest. If it occurs often in the same area(s) it may reflect an underlying deficiency.
- Cold, damp obstruction– type pain that is generally worse in the morning and exacerbated by cold or damp weather. This type of pain condition may be associated with numbness, swelling and a sense of “heaviness.” Heat improves this condition.
- Deficiency– type pain that is usually a chronic condition that presents with a “dull” pain and improves with rest.
How to Treat Back Pain at Home
Once your chiropractor | licensed acupuncturist has determined the cause(s) of your lower back pain, he will create a specific treatment plan designed to address your concerns and boost your overall health and vitality. During acupuncture treatments, your acupuncturist will insert fine, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi.
Your Fairfax chiropractor may also recommend self-care techniques, especially if you struggle with chronic pain. These may include:
- Improving your posture– Examine your posture in a mirror. Try to stand with your head up, shoulders back and pelvis in a neutral position. When sitting, try to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and your knees and hips level. Try to balance your weight evenly when walking and standing.
- Exercising– Keep your back and abdominal muscles strong with regular exercise. Yoga and Qi Gong are both gentle and effective. Consider adding aerobic exercise as well to improve your overall health and reduce stress.
- Managing stress– Stress can take a real toll on your health and contribute to muscle pain. Meditation or deep-breathing techniques can help you stay calm and relaxed. Massage is another great way to help relieve stress and loosen tense muscles.
If your Back Pain is going down your leg, find out the causes and treatments for sciatica.
Back pain. MayoClinic.com. Feb. 8, 2008.Link
Sollars, David W. L.Ac. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Acupuncture and Acupressure. Alpha Books, 2000