Acupuncture – Poke Away That Chronic Back Pain

Normally people (be it a child or an adult) become uneasy at the slightest hint of needles or syringe poked into their bodies to either draw or transfuse blood. Until this “multiple-needle-piercing-through-the-skin” technique was first introduced as an acceptable medical option particularly for relieving stress and easing chronic low back pains.

Acupuncture is one of the ancient techniques with gathering evidence that suggests relieving chronic back pain as opposed to the standard treatments such as physical therapy or medications.

Nowadays, this kind of needle poking to the skin treatment is considered as a component of a healthy lifestyle in aid of relieving the stress from your body. Each needle pierced through the skin are strategically targeting pressure points and in effect emanates a very restful and calming sensation.

In a recent study, three acupuncture techniques were implemented to patients experiencing chronic back pain including the “sham” technique which mimics needle acupuncture but instead used a toothpick without penetrating the actual skin.

Needle versus Conventional Treatment

Generally, the results proved acupuncture to have positive effects on easing chronic back pain compared to the patients who had traditional treatment of pain medicine or undergoing physical therapy.

Patients who underwent acupuncture treatment had a meaningful improvement that allowed them to engage in activities of daily living such as attending to social functions or performing normal household chores. Unfortunately this improvement only lasted a year after the acupuncture treatment and eventually waned off.

On the other hand, patients who had the conventional treatment of pain medication and physical therapy did show improvements on a subtle level compared to those who had acupuncture treatment.

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An interesting twist to the study was the equal level of improvement manifested with patients who had actual needles inserted through their skin and with those who had simulated acupuncture where a toothpick pokes certain pressure points in the body.

Though another consideration is the psychological impact of believing you are getting a treatment that will help your back pain, as a result the brain reacts in a way that leads to improvement.

Acupuncture may be a reasonable option to ease back pain however it doesn’t warrant a cure-all effect.

NEEDLEss to Say

In general, acupuncture proves to be beneficial and safe to recommend to patients experiencing chronic back pain.  On the contrary, the (“toothpick”) simulation acupuncture is not a consistent alternative to aid this kind of distress. The positive results could have just been a result of the feeling that someone cares for them and basically unloading the mind of the burden of the disease.

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1 Response

  1. Dr. Hayes says:

    Great info! Did you know that standing up relieves most type of back pain including thoracic back pain (but the opposite happens with spinal stenosis where back pain is relieved upon sitting)

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