Almost 8 out of every 10 people will deal with lower back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the most popular reasons that people seek medical care.
Back pain is also the top reason that people looked to acupuncture as a treatment. And, luckily enough, chronic lower back pain is one of the conditions that acupuncture could be an effective tool for treating according to research.
If you’re not sure whether acupuncture for lower back pain is the right move for you or not, read on for more information.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a non-traditional treatment option usually used for neck and back pain. Non-traditional, in this sense, means that it’s not a part of western medical procedures. It’s not the first thing people seek out when they’re looking for treatment, but more people are starting to turn to acupuncture for lower back pain.
Acupuncture is a Chinese medicine that goes back at least 2,500 years. It is based on the idea that the body contains certain patterns of energy flow. This vital energy or life force is called qi and in order to maintain your health, you have to keep qi flowing properly.
The theory is that there are over 2,000 points on your body that connect with 20 pathways. These pathways are what allows the qi to move through the body. When you receive acupuncture, very thin needles are inserted in specific places to correct or maintain your qi flow.
How it Works
It’s not solidly proven exactly how acupuncture works. However, it has been shown to cause a number of commonly accepted effects.
Acupuncture stimulates the brain and the spinal cord. People generally report feeling relaxed and energized along with a tingling sensation.
During a treatment session, anywhere between 1 and 20 FDA approved metallic needles are placed into the body. They are pressed in anywhere between just barely breaking the surface of the skin up to several inches long.
The longer needles are used on spaces of deeper muscle or fat layers or along the skin, depending on what they are trying to treat and how deep they need to go and they’re left in for 15-30 minutes.
How Acupuncture Helps Back Pain
Acupuncture tends to focus on certain pathways, as mentioned above. Some of these pathways correspond to certain parts of the body. There are a few different acupuncture points that can help you recover from lower back pain. They are:
- Back of the knees
- Lower back
The acupuncture points for upper back pain are usually quite different, found on the head, neck, shoulders and upper back.
When an acupuncturist stimulates these points, parts of the nervous system react to relieve pain.
Acupuncture is also said to release opioid-like chemicals in your body that can help to relieve pain. It also causes your body to release neurotransmitters that shut off your receptors to pain. It’s also said to trigger the electromagnetic impulses with your body, helping to speed up the release of endorphins and helping your body to manage pain.
Get Acupuncture for Back Pain
Before you try any treatment methods, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor beforehand. Together, you can decide if this is the right treatment method for you. If you would like to try acupuncture to help relieve your back pain, you need to start by contacting a nearby acupuncturist.
Ensure that you’re talking to a qualified professional. Ask them about their training, ask to see their license and certification, and make sure you feel confident that they can administer safe and healthy treatments. A good place to check for a qualified acupuncturist is the NCCAOM directory.
A good way to find the right acupuncturist for you is to talk to someone you know who has had this procedure done. Ask them who they would recommend.
Discuss with the acupuncturist whether or not it’s the right solution for you and your specific situation. And, unfortunately, most health insurance companies do not cover the cost of acupuncture. So make sure you talk about the cost of each session.
What to Expect
When going into acupuncture sessions, it’s important to keep in mind that one session will not treat your pain permanently. While it’s true that this is a successful method of chronic pain treatment, it’s more likely that you’re going to need to come back for repeated sessions over a long period of time.
Even if your first session was successful and you feel better, plan your second appointment. Don’t be too disappointed if the pain returns. Just schedule your second appointment.
People who have gotten acupuncture report occasional soreness, bruising, and very minor bleeding at the puncture sites. This clears up in a few days and poses no risk to your health. Acupuncture has fewer negative side effects than many other ways to treat lower back pain.
If pregnancy is the source of your lower back pain, talk to your doctor before getting acupuncture, as it has been known to stimulate labor and delivery.
Acupuncture isn’t a cure for pain, it’s a treatment option for managing it.
Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain
Acupuncture for lower back pain is a safe procedure and therapy when administered by a qualified acupuncturist. Don’t get suckered into treatment from someone who isn’t certified or qualified. Make sure you do your research.
Also, consider using this method of treatment along with using a back brace to maximize the effects.
Back pain can be absolutely debilitating. If you’re experiencing back pain, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor and get help with managing your pain today.
For more tips and tricks for handling back pain, come visit us today.