Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain
If you’ve ever experienced lower back pain, you know it can be absolutely debilitating. The slightest movement can cause discomfort, which can have a huge impact on your entire life. It doesn’t take much to send you in search of relief in the form of medical assistance.
Frequently, lower back pain is a symptom of some other, more specific problem. The pain can be related to nerve or muscular issues or deficiencies, disc issues, or arthritis, and 8 out of 10 people will struggle with back pain at some point in their life, making lower back pain a chronic issue in our country.
In fact, back pain is one of the top reasons people seek medical treatment. It’s also the most common reason that patients seek out acupuncture, which, when performed correctly, can be extremely effective for relieving this pain.
How Does It Work?
Acupuncture has been around as a source of pain management for thousands of years. By focusing on certain “pathways,” your acupuncturist can help your brain send neurotransmitters throughout your body that shut off your nerves’ reaction to the pain you are experiencing.
In acupuncture, particular “pathways” or areas of focus work to fight pain in different areas of your body.
After talking with you, and getting a full assessment of your pain, your acupuncturist may place their ultra-fine needles in very specific locations in some of these areas to target pain in your lower back:
- Back of the knees
- Lower back
Most people don’t experience pain when they needles are being inserted. In fact, sometimes they don’t even feel them at all! These needles are typically left in place for 15-45 minutes. In fact, many people report feeling a sense of calm, or maybe a light buzzing near where the needles are placed. Oftentimes, people are so relaxed, they fall asleep on the table!
How does this ancient practice relieve pain so well? The theory behind acupuncture is that there is a life force, or qi, flowing through all of us, and there are thousands of points throughout our bodies that connect to form pathways, or meridians for your qi to flow. By inserting acupuncture needles in specific combinations of these points, your body can correct or maintain a healthy flow of your qi in ways that target --and even relieve-- lower back pain.
So how does Western medicine explain this phenomenon? One theory is that painlessly inserting these fine needles into your body sends a signal to your brain to release beta-endorphins, which are like your body’s own natural painkillers.
This raises your threshold for pain, so you are no longer in discomfort. Still another theory is that the needles stimulate nerves in a way that reduces inflammation, relieving your lower back pain in the process.
Acupuncture Over Opioids for Your Lower Back
If you are experiencing pain in your lower back, you know you notice it constantly, when you breathe, twist, lift, or even laugh or cough, which is why some resort to painkillers to combat feelings of pain or discomfort.
Why choose acupuncture over prescription painkillers for lower back pain? Besides avoiding addictive opioids and unpleasant side effects, acupuncture works --without external chemicals-- to relieve and resolve pain.
Opioids may mask the cause of your lower back pain for a while, but they don’t work to alleviate the problem the same way that acupuncture works to correct the problem of your back pain altogether.
For more information on how acupuncture can provide some relief to the pain you are experiencing in your lower back, contact the professionals at Hoboken Integrated Health today.
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