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Acupuncture for back painExperiencing back pain during your lifetime is extremely common. Depending on it's severity, back pain can be debilitating and cause other symptoms to arise. Finding a combinations of treatment to treat your back pain is key to healing long term. One treatment option you may not consider, but could help ease your pain, is acupuncture treatment.

Here's How Acupuncture for Back Pain Can Help You Heal

Common Back Pain Symptoms

Back pain, specifically low back pain, is the most common reason for all physician visits in the U.S. and is a leading cause of disability worldwide. According to the National Institute of Health Statistics survey, back pain is the most common type of pain experienced in the U.S. followed by severe headache or migraine pain, and neck pain. Most commonly, back pain can present itself as muscle ache or spasm, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down the legs, and limited range of motion or flexibility in the back. This pain can be categorized as acute (lasting less than 4 weeks), sub-acute (lasting 4 to 12 weeks), or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks). The occurrence of back pain also tends to become more prevalent as we age. The age factor happens to cause degenerative changes to the spine, most of which cannot be reversed but can be managed and minimized with the proper care.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Causes of back pain are varied but the most common forms are from injury and these degenerative spine disorders. Injuries can stem from car accidents, sports injuries, slip and falls, overuse and or improper movements resulting in sprains/strains of the muscles and ligaments of the back, bulging or herniated discs, muscle spasms, and more. Degenerative Spine Disorders can present in a variety of different ways and tend to have a direct correlation with age. Some examples of Degenerative Spine Disorders would be Spinal Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Bulging and Herniated discs, Spondylolisthesis, and Sciatica. Risks factors for developing back pain are age, lack of exercise, improper lifting, smoking, excess weight (which puts more strain on the back), and certain other diseases or conditions that cause referred pain to the back area.

Traditional Back Pain Treatment

In times past, treatment for back pain relied heavily on pain medication, injections, and surgery if needed; however, on February 14, 2017 the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued new guidelines for the treatment of non-radicular low back pain. According to the ACP, physicians and patients should treat acute and subacute low back pain with non drug therapies such as Acupuncture, massage, superficial heat, or spinal manipulation. For patients with chronic low back pain, ACP recommends initially selecting non-drug therapy with a modality such as Acupuncture, spinal manipulation, exercise, and multidisciplinary rehabilitation. These forms of non-invasive therapies utilize the body’s natural potential to heal itself. The complementing of two or more therapies simultaneously aids even more providing an opportunity to maximize results.

How Acupuncture Treats Back Pain

Acupuncture has shown to be very effective in the treatment of back pain. Acupuncture can relieve spasms, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote circulation throughout the body and to injured areas. Having proper blood flow to a damaged area will help promote your body’s own self healing mechanism. Coupling acupuncture with other modalities such as chiropractic manipulation and massage therapy can prove to be even more effective in the treatment of back pain as this combined approach can promote faster healing and prolonged pain relief. Some acupuncturists also integrate herbal medicine or homeopathic injections, such as Traumeel, to enhance the experience and further reduce inflammation and pain.

You don't have to live with persistent back pain. Finding a treatment plan that works for you will help you for the long term. Integrating acupuncture treatment with other effective treatments, like decompression treatment for example, could be the missing piece to your treatment plan.

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Posted in: Pain Management

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