Is acupuncture good for back pain? Certainly the anecdotal evidence that I have would suggest it is one of the key areas that acupuncture has a very positive effect. The British Acupuncture Council has surveyed medical papers and there is a summary below. So let us have a look at some of the evidence for treating back pain.
Acupuncture can help back pain by:
- providing pain relief by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008).
- reducing inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007;Zijlstra 2003).
- improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling and bruising.
- reducing the use of medication for back complaints (Thomas 2006).
- providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time (Radcliffe 2006;Witt 2006).
- improving the outcome when added to conventional treatments such as rehabilitation exercises (Ammendolia 2008; Yuan 2008).
The full article is an interesting read and it is evidence like this that has prompted the government to publish the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – or NICE – to suggest the use of acupuncture for non-specific back pain, when the usual route of pain medication does not aid recovery.
Further benefits from acupuncture are highlighted by the National Institute for Health Research, which has produced publicity highlighting the benefits of acupuncture for back pain, and also reiterated by Backcare – a Uk based organization which aims at assisting those with back pain.
It is important to validate the use of acupuncture, and this does concur with my experience of treatments I have given in my Leeds Clinic. I should say that it can benefit sciatic pain, and other back related issues.
I hope you found this article useful