Acupuncture and Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent reasons people seek health care. Millions of working days and countless hours of activity and fun are lost each year due to back pain.Many people who have chronic low back pain have found acupuncture to be helpful. Acupuncture for back pain involves inserting very thin needles to various depths into meridian points on your body. One of the top causes of back pain are sprains and strains. This can happen from an injury, poor posture, or improper lifting. Sciatica is another common form of back pain. Sciatica is a term used to describe pain that extends down into the buttocks and leg which comes from an irritation of a larger nerve in the lumbar spine called the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can accompany sprains, strains, herniated discs as well as back pain emanating from other sources. Pain that results from deficiency is usually dull, chronic, and improves with rest. It is more common in middle aged and elderly people. Pain from stagnation is more severe and stabbing in nature. There is stiffness and tightness in the muscles and it worsens with rest. Often this type is seen in occurrences of acute sprains and strains. It can reoccur chronically, thereby indicating an underlying deficiency. Pain from cold damp obstruction is worse in the morning, exacerbated by cold and damp weather. It improves with heat and may be accompanied by numbness, swelling and a sense of heaviness. TCM works to restore harmony and energetic balance to the body which stimulates natural healing and promotes health. Acupuncture is one of the primary modalities used and treatment is individual to each patient. Generally, it is advisable to have frequent treatment initially and taper off as the pain diminishes. Acute pain can often be cleared up in a few sessions. More treatments may be needed if there is an underlying deficiency, or reoccurring problem, or sciatica.

About the Author: Jennifer Dubowsky, L.Ac., M.S.O.M. is a licensed acupuncturist who works in Chicago, Illinois. Jennifer earned her Masters of Science Degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College, an accredited four year graduate program in Boulder, Colorado. She received her diplomat from the NCCAOM, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Jennifer has also completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. If you have any comments or questions, she can be reached at 312-399-5098 or tcm007(at)aol.com