Healing Back Pain with Acupuncture

What is Back Pain?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention.  It is one of the most frequent causes of missed workdays and one of the most costly conditions in the United States.  In one government report in 1999, nearly one million people in the U.S. took time away from work to treat and recover from some sort of back pain.

Back problems can be caused by a wide range of problems.  It can exist alone, or it can be caused by a condition that occurs elsewhere in the body, with the pain being referred to areas of the back by the nervous system.  Back pain is often caused by a muscle or ligament strain or spasm; a disc problem; spondylosis; or stenosis. 

Who Suffers from Back Pain?

Half of all adults will experience some form of lower back pain during their lifetime.  The fact that humans walk upright puts great pressure on the spine and the muscles that support it.  Over time, factors such as disease, accidents, poor posture and overexertion can lead to immediate and/or long-tern back problems.  Stress, whether mental or emotional can also be a factor. 

Most back pain is muscular in nature.  Muscle pain perpetuates what is known as the pain cycle.  In the pain cycle, pain causes a muscle to spasm, which may distort the discs, joints and nerves of the spine.  This spasm leads to further pain, leading to further spasm, which makes the condition worse.  If the nerves are irritated enough, it may cause pain to radiate down the leg, similar to sciatica.

What Can Acupuncture Do?

Acupuncture can play a significant role in the reduction or elimination of acute or chronic back pain.  Research shows 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 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.  Whether the pain is acute or chronic, it can help avoid the need for costlier and more invasive surgical procedures.  If back pain can be significantly reduced, it lowers the need for pain killers or other medications that can either cause unwanted side-effects or prolong a patient’s condition.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of hair thin needles into particular areas of the body, in order to promote the body’s natural healing process.  Acupuncture needles are sterile, disposable, and discarded after each use.  Most patients feel no discomfort at all.  In addition to pain relief, most patients feel relaxed and rejuvenated after the treatments.  Whether the pain is acute or chronic, acupuncture works and there are no side effects. 

Acupuncture can work in conjuncture with other forms of therapy or simply on its own. Some insurance plans are accepted.  Accident insurance is always covered.