Arthritis, joint pain, and especially chronic lower back pain are three of the biggest reasons why patients seek out acupuncture treatments. For a lot of individuals, Chinese or Oriental Medicine and acupuncture has been an integral component of their treatment plan for pain.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective of Pain
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) joint and/or musculoskeletal pain is attributed to a TCM health terminology known as bi syndrome. Bi, in Chinese medicine parlance means obstruction. The aspect of this syndrome will result in the manifestations of symptoms like hot, fixed, stabbing, or achy pain. Several people respond very well to exercise or movement while some may experience relief with rest. A lot of joint and musculoskeletal disorders are sorted into a sub-classification of bi syndrome. A precise diagnosis of the kind of bi the patient experience implies a plan of treatment involving herbal therapy and acupuncture to alleviate and clear the blood and qi obstruction in the areas where pain is felt.
One of the objectives of acupuncture treatment for back pain is to deactivate and remove inflammation and localized constriction (known as trigger points) in the affected regions of the body. The pattern of pain the patient experiences will determine the acupoints the acupuncturist places his/her acupuncture needles.
The use of Chinese herbs along with acupuncture therapy augments the overall effectiveness of the treatment in two ways:
1. The first way is by working to reduce stagnation, local congestion, and inflammation, the alleviation of pain is achieved.
2. After energy and blood stagnation is resolved, the muscular structure, discs, and tendons in the affected areas are nourished and restored to a more subtle and mobile state.
Practitioners of TCM such as acupuncturists and herbalists believe that certain muscles will manifest pain patterns in parts of the body that are not necessarily affected by inflammation or constriction. A qualified acupuncturist knows how to deactivate trigger points and is knowledgeable in determining the pain patterns. Thin and small acupuncture needles are then placed distal and near the areas of pain. This manner of pain therapy enables the acupuncturist to stimulate the affected meridians while at the same time influence the underlying power currents to treat the root cause of back pain.
Acupuncture Has Been Verified as a Valid Treatment for Back Pain
The Archives of Internal Medicine published a recent study that demonstrated acupuncture’s ability to alleviate back pain in a much better manner than conventional therapies. The study involved 640 subjects all suffering from back pain that were divided into three groups. One group was treated with acupuncture, while another group received a placebo version of acupuncture in which the skin was not pierced, but nevertheless, stimulated. The last group was not given any type of acupuncture treatment but instead was allowed to continue whatever traditional treatment program they were receiving (which was mainly physical therapy or drug therapy).
The study lasted for seven weeks. The two groups who received acupuncture treatments showed a much better improvement of their back pain (including the placebo group) compared to the group that continued its traditional treatment regimen.
The success of placebo acupuncture raised more questions about the true workings of acupuncture and why this type of treatment is so effective in triggering recovery. The results of the study showed a 60% average success rate for those who treated with acupuncture (placebo and non-placebo) and about 38% to the group who received traditional therapies.
Why Acupuncture is A Recommended Treatment Program for Low Back Pain
Around 85% of the population of the United States will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Each year, back pain costs the US economy around US $40 billion. People who have been in chronic back pain for several years know only too well how exhausting and debilitating this condition can be. Happily, they can always turn to good and safe treatments to alleviate their condition. Acupuncture is quite a cost-effective treatment for back pain sufferers looking for a solution for their pain.
Being a long-time healer of chronic pain, I’ve personally treated a lot of patients suffering from back pain using Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. There will always by skeptics about the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating body pain although they are dwindling in numbers each passing day due to the growing evidence of this treatment’s incredible ability to alleviate pain which keeps patients pain-free, happy, and healthy.