- Back pain

How Does Acupuncture Help in the Relief of Lower Back Pain and Spasms?


Every day people ask me about Acupuncture for relief of their lower back pain and back injury. For many people, the thought (let alone the action) of an acupuncture needle into your body would only increase pain. However, acupuncture is a very safe and effective method of pain relief, for acute and chronic conditions. I have found it particularly advantageous in the treatment and management of back aches, back spasms and back pain after a lower back injury.

Firstly, what is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is just one part of traditional Chinese Medicine. Whilst acupuncture is thought of in the Western World as simply a needling process, acupuncture has many forms in traditional Chinese Medicine. Yin and Yang breathing techniques and herbal medicines are also parts of the process of Chinese Medicine.

Acupuncture has been around for 4500 – 5000 years now, and the Chinese were using Acupuncture for many things – not just pain relief – before steel was discovered. This means two main things for us – they were using 'Acupuncture' techniques for pain relief before the needle was invented (Thin bamboo shoots were used), and acupuncture was being used before scalpels were injected. This means that the Chinese were using Acupuncture and needling techniques on each other successfully before they knew what was underneath the 'needle' they were placing in the body.

Traditional Acupuncture is based upon the belief of 'Meridian Points' in our body. Acupuncturists believed that these meridian points were energy channels that related to different vessels in our body – the Liver, Large Intestine, Heart etc. These energy channels run all through our body. The traditional belief in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for pain relief, is that by tapping into these energy channels through the use of a 'needle', anything from acute to chronic pain, back aches, buttock pain and back spasms caused by these areas can be relieved. Because of this, the needle is often not placed anywhere near the actual point of pain.

In the case of lower back pain and back injury, traditional acupuncture has been shown to be effective in providing pain relief for both acute and chronic pain, back aches and back spasms. Acupuncture for lower back pain can assist in decreasing back spasm and chronic pain, along with assisting in decreasing the long term changes in the brain's pain processing.

Over recent years, Acupuncture has become more accepted in Western culture for its use in pain relief for anything from headaches to back pain to pregnancy. With greater research into the actual process of needling and how it works, a westernized form of Acupuncture known as Dry Needling has become more widely used and accepted. A westernised form of Acupuncture, Dry Needling works to relieve muscle spasm, giving almost instantaneous relief from back aches, back spasms and buttock pains caused by muscle spasm after back injury.

Muscle Spasm: Following back injury, the muscles of the back will spasm to protect the injury site, causing many people to suffer from back ache and back spasms. Many of the muscles around the pelvis will spasm after a back injury, leading to buttock pain specifically, along with back aches and lower back pain that will not show up on an x-ray or MRI.

When muscle spasm increases, it can lead to trigger points developing in the muscles. These trigger points are the main causes of back pain, buttock pain and back spasm, along with a major cause of back aches. The technique of dry needling is effective in ridding the body of these trigger points and leading to pain relief from lower back pain, back aches and back spasms.

After a back injury, a major cause of back pain is often the muscle spasm and trigger points, as the underlying problem can often heal itself. This is why for many people, their MRI or x-ray will show nothing, and their Doctor will not believe the cause of their back pain.

Dry Needling is used to safely and effectively break up these trigger points through rapid and fast needling of the area. Unlike Acupuncture, Dry Needling is only done for 5 – 10 seconds, where as Acupuncture Needles are often left in for 15 – 20 minutes. I have found this technique very effective in removing back aches, lower back pain, back spasms, buttock pains and spinal pain. By removing the trigger point as the major cause for back pain after back injury, pain relief can be felt almost immediately.


Source by Andrew J Logan

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