21. September 2013 · Comments Off on Back Pain Prevention · Categories: Acupuncture · Tags: ,

The best way to prevent back pain is to keep your body strong and to apply proper body mechanics especially when lifting heavy objects.  A good posture is also essential in preventing backaches.

How do you keep your back sturdy and healthy? Below are some of the ways you can achieve these.

Acquire and keep a normal weight – Putting on extra weight puts more strain on the musculoskeletal system of the body, especially on the vertebrae. Lose weight and the risk of getting back pain is substantially reduced.

Strengthen muscle tone and make your muscles more flexible – By toning and stretching your back and abdominal muscles, these muscles will provide enough and good support for your back. Regularly working out and toning your lower body muscles can improve their flexibility and properly align your upper legs and hips to your pelvic bones improving the function and quality of your back. You can inquire the proper exercise programs for the health of your back from your physical therapist or physician. Regular low-impact aerobic activities, particularly those that don’t strain or shock your back are great ways to improve the endurance and toughness of your back muscles making them stronger and enhance the back’s range of motion. Swimming and walking are also great activities for strengthening your back.

Apply proper body mechanics – Forming a habit using good body mechanics keeps your back protected from injury. Proper body mechanics also include developing a good posture. If you need to stand for a long time, you can relieve stress in your back by alternately perching your feet on a low footstool diverting the center of gravity of your body to your legs and feet instead of the back.

A good sitting posture and an ergonomically designed seat are also important factors in preventing back pain. Seat on a chair that has a swivel base and has good arm rests as well as adequate lower back support. To properly support the curvature of your spine, you can place a rolled towel or a small to medium sized pillow to the lower curve of your spine. Sit with your hips and knees on a level position to each other. Keep on shifting your seating position to relieve strain off certain body areas for at least every 30 minutes. When lifting an object, distribute the weight of an object to your legs. The back needs to be straight; lower your body with your legs rather than your back. Lift the object straight up and keep it close to the body to maximize your body strength. Never lift and twist at the same time.  If you think that lifting the object can be risky, ask someone to assist you.

Wear loose and comfortable clothing – Wearing high heels or tight clothing can cause muscle pain and can lead to injury in the musculoskeletal system. Blood flow is restricted and can cause body pain when you wear tight fitting clothes.  People have different clothing, furniture, pillow or shoes they feel comfortable with so it’s a matter of finding the right clothing, bed or furniture you are comfortable using that will help you prevent back pain from occurring.

15. April 2010 · Comments Off on A Study to Prove the Effectiveness of Pain Acupuncture · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

A study known as the New Jersey study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of pain acupuncture or the benefits of acupuncture for pain. The study showed encouraging results where twelve patients were monitored using the functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI. This technology revealed parts of the brain that received increased blood flow. An increased blood flow to different parts of the brain indicated that those areas were being stimulated.

The patients were subjected to pain in a form of a small prick inside or outside their upper lip. The fMRI showed that all 12 patients reacted to the pain stimulus since there was an increased blood flow to their parietal areas and brain stems.

At the same time with being pricked with the filament, seven patients received the traditional acupuncture at the Hegu point, an acupoint that is located between the forefinger and thumb. The rest of the five patients received electroacupunture Hegu point with the use of low-level electrical current that travels through the needle.

During 30 minutes of the treatment process, each patient were asked to rate the pain level on a scale of one to 10 every five minutes while the fMRI was continually monitoring their brains. Four out of the seven patients who received traditional acupuncture showed considerably decreased levels of brain activity associated with pain in their fMRI.

The response was even greater with those patients who were receiving electroacupunture. Five patients who were receiving electrical stimulation showed a decrease in their pain-related brain activity. Plus these patients showed a much higher tolerance to pain than those patients receiving the traditional acupuncture treatment.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Huey-Jen Lee said, “We could see the brain activity associated with the pain subsiding even as the patients reported they were experiencing relief.” He also added that the increase tolerance to pain was not due to placebo effect since the MRI since showed different brain activity. “The brain actually shows differences and that is convincing,” Lee said.

The results were favorable to those who have been looking for proof that acupuncture really works. But as a precaution, it is wise not to jump to conclusions since the study is still premature and they are still gathering more data to support this.

Together with his team, Dr. Lee is foreseeing to conduct more studies in the future to determine if acupuncture can help relieve chronic pain in cancer patients. Although a lot of researchers are reasonable enough to think that acupuncture may not be the solution to chronic pain but at least the study can eventually help in reducing the dosage of certain pain medications and NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This way, drug side-effects can be lessened or even avoided.

Dr. Lee concluded, “It is important for Western medicine to recognize that these acupoints really mean something in regard to pain relief. So many people with pain, whether from cancer, headache or a chronic, unexplained condition, rely on medications such as morphine, which can become addicting. Acupuncture as no side effects and other studies have shown the pain relief it provides can last for months.”