What is back pain?
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. It is one of the most frequent causes of missed workdays and one of the most expensive conditions in the United States; according to a recent government report, nearly one million people in the U.S. took time away from work to treat and recover from some sort of back pain.
Who suffers from back pain?
Half of all adults will experience some form of low back pain during their lifetime. The fact that humans walk upright puts great pressure on the spine and the muscles that support it. Over time, factors such as disease, accidents, poor posture and overexertion can lead to immediate and/or long-term back problems.
What can acupuncture do?
Acupuncture can play an important role in the reduction or elimination of back pain by reducing recovery time and preventing a chronic condition from developing.
Research has shown that acupuncture causes the body to produce natural steroids and promote the production of natural endorphins. Steroids decrease inflammation, while endorphins are produced by the body to kill pain. Both substances can play an integral part in the breaking up of the pain cycle.
By reducing acute back pain, acupuncture may also reduce the chances of chronic back pain from occurring. It can help avoid the need for costlier and more invasive surgical procedures. And if back pain can be significantly reduced with acupuncture, it also lowers the need for painkillers or other medications that can either cause unwanted side-effects or prolong a patient’s condition.
Many styles of acupuncture may help ease back pain. Some practitioners may advocate very few needles at particular acupoints on the hand; other practitioners may employ electroacupuncture at several points on the body simultaneously. In general, the longer the pain has been present, the longer it will take for acupuncture to produce a response.
As with any other form of care, however, remember that not all patients will respond to acupuncture. Make sure to discuss the situation thoroughly with your acupuncturist before undergoing treatment for back pain (or any other condition).
Source: www.acupuncturetoday.com; November 18, 2013.