If we talk about low back pain, we would realize that 80% of Americans are dealing or have dealt with this condition at some point in their lives. With quite a lot of individuals suffering from this problem, none should be surprised that treatments for low back pain such as acupuncture have become so popular. To its credit, Western science accepts acupuncture as a bona fide treatment for all types of low back pain problems from numerous studies that have been conducted throughout the years.
Conventional Treatments vs. Acupuncture
Medical reviews reveal that acupuncture is a good option for treating back problems and a also a viable treatment for pain related to sciatic pain. The fact is, studies suggest that this treatment gives superior relief of pain compared to conventional (Western) therapies for back pain. Both the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society recommend acupuncture when conventional medical treatments fail.
Acupuncture’s origin can be traced to Ancient China way back to the Stone Age 6,000 years ago. This healing technique is done with the use of filiform needles into selected energetic points found all over the body. Based on the teachings of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), the human body has more than 365 acupuncture points scattered throughout it. Inside the body, a life force known as Chi or Qi, flows through energy channels known as meridians that are connected to the acupuncture points (acupoints) like a grid. When a needle is inserted into the proper acupoints, it jumpstarts physiological processes that leads to the clearing up of blockages to chi flow and corrects imbalances resulting in enhanced overall health and the alleviation of pain.
In the realm of medical science, scientists believe that acupuncture alleviates pain because this treatment stimulates the central nervous system into releasing chemicals into the spinal cord, muscles, and the brain. Some researchers believe that these chemicals either actually change the way pain is experienced and/or felt or generate an overall sense of well-being within the body.
Some suggest that acupuncture accelerates the electromagnetic signals in the body which stimulates endorphins and other such chemicals that help relieve pain and can even positively impact the immune system cells of the body. Some believe that acupuncture changes the chemistry of the brain altogether via the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones throughout the entire body or helps discharge natural opioids from the brain to the bloodstream. Both of these lead to the reduction of pain.
Things to Consider When Getting Acupuncture
Fast becoming one of the most sought after treatments for low back pain, acupuncture is a very potent modality that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has excluded acupuncture needles from the category “experimental medical devices” and is now in charge of all acupuncture practices within the US.
If you decide to go for acupuncture for your low back pain or other back issues, you need to take some things into consideration and do a bit of research about the treatment. You should seek a licensed or qualified acupuncturist who has the title, L.Ac., at the end of his/her name. This title means that the practitioner is certified by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).