Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Can Acupuncture Relieve Back Pain?

When we think about ways to relieve pain, few are comforted by the thought of having needles shoved into their skin. But despite the theory behind acupuncture, it’s a treatment that’s been shown to relieve a great deal of pain and stress. Working by sticking needles into strategic points in one’s skin (and at varying depths), the practice is meant to poke and prod away pain.

So does it work on backs? While the science behind the treatment is shaky – some say yes, some say no – patients to test the practice give acupuncture two thumbs up. According to their assessments, extra pain up front equals less pain overall. As for the doctors, even they agree that acupuncture provides more relief than no treatment whatsoever. [Mayo Clinic]

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Using very thin needles, a trained professional places them into a patient’s skin. Known as “acupoints,” the needles are put in specific places that will help reduce pain and stress. It is thought that stimulation these various points allows the body to naturally heal itself, providing enhanced abilities.

Each person hosts about 2,000 acupoints across their body. Obviously not all of them can be accessed in a single setting, however, some believe that more needles equals more results. You can also talk with your acupuncturist about different pains you’re experiencing to ensure affected areas will see results.

Additionally, those who receive regular treatments are able to see which areas provide the best results.

Different Types of Acupuncture

There are at least five different types of acupuncture, each of which offers a different format. For instance, Auricular acupuncture deals only with ears. Hosting over 200 acupoints each, a person can gain relief throughout their entire body while only hosting punctures in their ears. In contrast, traditional Chinese acupuncture covers the entire body, and even stimulates the organs. Japanese acupuncture is quite similar, though its needles are shorter and thinner. This is a good option to anyone experiencing fear and anxiety about the needles.

There are also five element and Korean hand acupunctures – the first of which gives spirit and mind relief, while the latter focuses on one’s hands. [Discovery Fit and Health]

Though acupuncture is a very personal experience, it’s generally said that full-bodied options provide the best back pain relief, especially in the lower back. Talk to your acupuncturist to see which options may work best, or give varied treatments a try and compare notes.

While it may sound like a nerve-wracking process, acupuncture is shown to provide a great deal of pain relief. Sign up today to see just what the practice has to offer.


Kelsey said...

Great post! I've never tried acupuncture before, but I think it might help my shoulder pain.