Are you reluctant to take pain medication? Have you missed too much work? Maybe you've grown tired of handing large sums of money over to a chiropractor. Pick your reason but if you suffer from back pain, acupuncture should not be your last resort. Make it a top priority. Why, you ask?
For starters, you are not alone. Every year, at least 50 % of Americans report having back pain. It is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office. Speaking of doctors, if you are seeing a chiropractor, acupuncture should already have been suggested.
The area of the back in proximity to your lower back is known as the lumbar region. Strains and sprains in this area are the most common causes of low back pain. Between the weight it bears and all the twisting and bending we subject it to, it is highly susceptible to inflammation and injury. Any movement can begin to cause pain, cramping and muscle spasms. Eventually, function and range of motion is affected.
Acupuncture treats so many conditions but its effects originate from stimulating the central nervous system. It triggers the release of naturally occurring opioids that reduce pain and promote sleep. This flow of chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord and brain is the reason why the treatment is so highly effective in treating back pain.
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Your hypothalamus and pituitary glands, located near the brain, secrete neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Acupuncture alters this function, which effects how you experience pain. Nerve impulses are simulated and dampened.
It is even believed that thousands of acupuncture points might be strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals that cue the flow of endorphins. Another theory is that these signals lead to the release of immune system cells in the body.
In treatment of back pain there are many points used on the back, in the same area of the patient's pain, called local treatment. Acupuncturists also use points away from the area of pain called distal points. Many of these points are on the front of the body or on the hands and feet. Acupuncture points are located along pathways of the body called meridians or channels. Each meridian corresponds to a major organ, while all meridians comprise the overall system that acupuncture is based on. Distal treatments use points on the meridian that travels across the pain but uses points far away from the pain. Patients who get acupuncture for back pain may be surprised where the needles go to treat their specific type of back pain.
Anything from picking up a pencil from the floor to a sports injury or motor vehicle accident can result in lower back pain. With regards to what you can expect from Western medicine, acupuncture can be an alternative or an ally. Schedule an appointment and find out which we can be for you.