Acupuncture for Back Pain

UPDATE: Look at this news item – Antibiotics for Chronic Back Pain

Acupuncture can provide long-term relief from back pain

Assessment by a qualified acupuncturist will include taking a full history and conducting an examination to determine the location, nature and extent of your pain. Acupuncture treatment can safely be given for acute and chronic low back pain.

Many people show a rapid response to acupuncture and experience immediate pain relief, in other cases, the condition may require several courses of treatment. Pain relief through treatment with acupuncture can also reduce the need for medication. For more chronic pain, acupuncture can play an important role in maintaining a healthy back and reduce the chance of a return to pain.

Acupuncture can safely be given in combination with other forms of treatment including massage and pain killers. It is important to tell me what other forms of treatment you may be receiving and what if any other conditions you have. These can influence the type of treatment you will receive and will help me give you the most effective treatment for your condition. Acupuncture, manual therapy (such as massage) and exercise is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellent (NICE) for the early treatment and management of persistent or recurrent low back pain, defined as non-specific low back pain that has lasted for more than 6 weeks, but for less than 12 months.

How many sessions will I need?

The NICE Guidelines for low back pain (2009) recommend 10 sessions over a period of up to 12 weeks. The aim of the recommended treatments and management strategies is to reduce the pain and its impact on your day-to-day life, even if the pain cannot be cured completely.

Acupuncture can speed up your recovery, helping you to return to your normal activities faster. It is safe, effective and recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for the treatment of low back pain.

Low Back Pain is very common

Pain is an uncomfortable condition that can interfere with how you perform at work or school and prevent you living your life to the fullest.

It is estimated that 80% of the world’s population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, with the lower back as the most common site of pain.

Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. When a particular movement hurts, you need to rest or seek help.

Low Back Pain Causes and Symptoms

Low back pain can be described as tension, soreness or stiffness in the area between the bottom of the rib cage and the buttock creases and may also extend to the upper legs.

Low back pain has many causes. Sometimes it can come on suddenly (acute) such as following an injury e.g. lifting, or it can develop over a period of time. Many types of low back pain resolve quickly, however, some can last for months or years (chronic).

Back pain can originate in different areas. Sometimes the pain comes from muscles, joints or the nerves which branch out from the vertebral discs of the spine. Often it can be a combination of all three. Examination by a health care professional can often help differentiate between these conditions. In some cases, x-ray or other imaging techniques may be required.

Although most low back pain is not due to serious conditions sometimes it can be part of more serious and potentially progressive conditions. These can include diseases that affect the joints and muscles such as certain types of arthritis, neurological conditions, and malignancies as well as diseases that affect organs such as your kidneys.