Back pain is a top complaint and ailment for people. In fact, WebMD estimates that 80% of people will have some sort of back pain at some point in their lives. That’s a huge group of people seeking relief and recovery. While a traditional doctor may prescribe pain meds and rest to start feeling better, chiropractic care, physical therapy and acupuncture for back pain have been shown to work much better for both short and long term results.
While back pain is one of the top reasons people seek medical treatment, it is the top reason people turn to acupuncture. And studies show that chronic back pain is one of the conditions that acupuncture is best for. So how does it work?
In Chinese medicine, acupuncture needles are placed along meridians or pathways in the body where the body’s energy, or Qi, may be blocked. Acupuncture restores balance to your body’s flow of energy.
In Western medicine, the theory is that the very small needles inserted into the body stimulate the nervous system, which encourages the release of chemicals into the body that alter the pain sensation and/or the patient’s sense of well-being. Some of the chemicals released are endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and natural opioids. Opioids act as pain relievers and sleep enhancers, and are thought to be the chemical that eases back pain.
In a recent Forbes article, acupuncture is even seen as a plausible solution for the current “opioid crisis” in the U.S. From doctors to the government, there has been a push to find alternative treatments for pain, other than prescribed opioids like codeine, methadone, morphine and oxycodone. Of the recommended alternative treatments including meditation, yoga and art therapy, acupuncture is seen as a preventative and treatment therapy. And not just to relieve back pain. Acupuncture may be a viable option to also help patients kick an opioid habit or addiction.
“… acupuncture has the potential to reduce or even in some cases eliminate the need for opioids and non-opioid drugs while also helping to treat opioid addiction.”
– Quote from a January 2016 letter from the Joint Acupuncture Opioid Task Force, Acupuncture Now Foundation and American Society of Acupuncturists
It’s important to note that acupuncture for back pain is not a one-size-fits-all treatment; relief and recovery vary from patient to patient (as with most ailments and treatments). It often works best a holistic treatment plan that can include chiropractic care, physical therapy, exercises, and sometimes even medication.
Our Acupuncturist Leah Chishchilly notes that back pain is certainly the top reason patients come to see her. Depending on a few factors (pain location, cause, severity, other therapies), patients can start feeling better after their first session with considerable results after just a few sessions. To schedule acupuncture North Phoenix, call Pure Health and Wellness Center today. Sign up for our newsletters to stay on top of health care news and receive exclusive offers.