Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of health concerns including lower back pain and general back pain. Acupuncture uses pressure points for pain treatment in that stems from muscle strains and sprains, a lack of blood flow or a lack of endorphins, and uses these points to manipulate the nervous system. As an alternative approach to healing and pain treatment, or in conjunction with Chiropractic Treatments or Massage Therapy, Acupuncture is available at Absolute Rehab Centre for our patients.
What is Acupuncture?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture is believed to move energy in the body. Vital energy, called Qi (pronounced chee) is responsible for how the human body functions. Throughout the body, the Chinese believe there are 20 pathways (meridians) in which Qi flows to support functions, such as digestive movements, nervous system responses and muscle repair. These pathways connect to over 2000 points in the human body. Acupuncture targets these points to help maintain the flow of energy or improve the flow of energy through the pathways, providing the human body optimal health.
The practice of Acupuncture has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2500 years, but has only recently been used in Western medical practices as an alternative approach. Acupuncture can be used to treat health problems and is especially useful in helping the nervous system regain its stability. For those with lower back pain who are seeking pain treatment with noticeable results, Acupuncture is one of the most desirable methods.
The Reputation of Acupuncture in Canada
Acupuncture has garnered a strange reputation as the “treatment when doctors stick needles all over you”. This tale makes the treatment sound a little intimidating, and is much more extreme than what actually happens with Acupuncture.
In Canada, an accredited professional with an Acupuncture Canada Certification (ACC) or a CAFCI accreditation can complete your Acupuncture treatments. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists often seek after the accreditation because the practice of Acupuncture enhances Chiropractic and Physiotherapy treatments they already provide patients. According to Acupuncture Canada, Western medicine perceives Acupuncture to achieve homeostasis (balance) in the body, and is often associated with the Yin Yang symbol from Chinese culture.
How Acupuncture Treatments Work
To achieve homeostasis, very thin needles are inserted in specific areas of the body, known as acupuncture points. Acupuncture needles are not like the needles doctors use to draw blood or inject. They are much thinner in circumference and round at the tip. Because of their design, they don’t typically cause bleeding and they do not have the same piercing feeling as an injection from a regular needle. In fact, many people do not feel the needles going in. Acupuncture needles are individually packaged are only used once before they are disposed of. Your Acupuncturist will always sterilize the area of Acupuncture before they place needles in Acupuncture points.
Once an Acupuncture needle is in place, an Acupuncturist can manipulate the needle using electrical currents placed on areas around the acupuncture point, or with small twists of the needle. Patients find a sense of relief from either the needles staying in place and the needles being manipulated. On rare occasions, there are some discomforting effects from acupuncture, including tingling, nausea and bruising, but for a majority of patients, these are far and few between. What most patients will experience during an acupuncture treatment is some aching, heat and heaviness in the Acupuncture point, which is not harmful. Rather, it means that energy is flowing through the body to promote health.
Acupuncture Can Target Lower Back Pain and General Back Pain
Acupuncture Treatment for lower back and general back pain usually involves the following acupuncture points:
- Stomach point
- Foot points (both the standing side and underside of the foot)
- Hand point
- Back of Knee point
- Hipbone point
- Lower back point
Although you may not realize, all these areas are connected through passageways (meridians). Your Acupuncturist can use any of these points to alleviate lower and general back pain. It’s a matter of finding which point works best for you or a group of points that work best for you. Many of the points can be found in areas near the spine, which correlate with the region of pain.
In medical studies, Acupuncture has been shown to help alleviate muscle spasms, decreasing a patient’s overall lower back pain. After treatments, patients typically feel their range of motion is improved.
Acupuncture also releases the stress and pressure that cause lower back pain and general back pain. Researchers believe that this is from the release of endorphins. As far as most medical research goes, endorphins are responsible for the relief of pain and they enhance feelings of happiness and relaxation. There is not a definitive answer as to whether or not this research is true for all Acupuncture treatments, but it does explain the decrease in pain.
Acupuncture, Lower Back Pain and Sciatica
Patients that suffer from pain in the pesky sciatic region of the body (Sciatica) can find very life-changing results. Acupuncture can be used to treat Sciatica, relieving lower back pain and leg pain.
Because the sciatic nerve starts in the lower back and extends downwards into each leg, patients find the nerve causes that the most grief when it comes to daily routines. As acupuncture points are used to treat the sciatic nerve, patients tend to find relief due to the additional endorphins, better blood flow, and relaxes muscles and can continue with their daily life unbothered.
Acupuncture Treatments and Other Methods
At the very least, Acupuncture gives relief from lower back pain and general back pain and can be used safely on its own, or in addition to Active Release Techniques (ART ®) Massage Therapy and Physiotherapy to get the body in motion once again. It is hard to dismiss the benefits of such a non-invasive and relatively inexpensive pain treatment, which is why many practitioners and therapists are keen to help patients discover results.
The results from Acupuncture treatments remain positive, with patients showing a significant amount of improvement in many studies and in real cases from Absolute Rehab Centre. To discover how you may benefit from Acupuncture as pain treatment for your lower back pain or for other health problems, please contact Absolute Rehab Centre or visit the clinic. We proudly provide Acupuncture treatments in Waterloo and will continue to provide patients with the relief and recovery they need. For more information, give us a call or fill out our contact form.