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Can acupuncture treat back pain?

Chronic low back pain is one of the many conditions that acupuncture is proven to effective in treating. Many scientific review of acupuncture studies show that it provide relief from chronic and acute back pain.

acupuncture-back-pain Southfields
The lower back, or lumbar spine, is a complex structure of vertebrae, disks, spinal cord, and nerves, it includes:
Five lumbar vertebrae, stacked one upon the other that connect the upper spine to the pelvis.
Six shock absorbers,or disks, which act as cushions and stabilizers to protect the lumbar vertebrae
Spinal cord and nerves, travelling through a central canal in the lumbar vertebrae, connecting your brain to the muscles of the legs
Small joints,to provide stability and allow for functional movement
Muscles and ligaments, provide strength, power, support and stability
The lower back protects the soft tissues of the nervous system and spinal cord, as well as adjacent organs of the pelvis and abdomen.
When standing the lower back holds most of the weight of the body; when bending, extending or rotating at the waist the lower back is involved in the movement.

Acute back pain is diagnosed if the condition has been present for a day to weeks.
Chronic back pain lasts longer than 3 months.
The most common causes of
low back pain are frequently a combination of factors that increase the likelihood of injury or disease.
These may include:
normal aging (wear and tear), osteoporosis/fractures, a protruding disk, poor conditioning of the back muscles, overuse or improper use of the back, obesity, smoking.

How low back pain can be prevented:
Aging decreases bone mass, strength and flexibility, and cannot be prevented.
But its effects on the body can be better controlled with:
regular appropriate exercises to keep the muscles that support back strong and flexible
proper lifting and moving techniques
maintaining a correct posture when standing and sitting
maintaining proper body weight -- being over weight puts strain on back muscles
avoiding smoking
Low back pain can often be treated, but requires a professional examination . The following may be used (and often in combination) for the treatment of low back pain:
resting the back
medications to relieve pain and muscle spasm
local heat applications
reconditioning exercises to strengthen the low back and abdominal muscles
weight loss
quitting smoking
a rehabilitation program to increase muscle strength
light physical activity
DO NOT IGNORE THE PAIN! It is there for a reason — the body's way of telling you something is wrong. It may sound obvious, but the first step is to stop doing whatever started the pain attack in the first place. Stop what you are doing, and ease yourself gently into a more comfortable position.

Treating lower back pain
increase ability to be physically mobile, along with strengthening the muscles, and improving disks' stability. A day of rest in the early stages may profit by lessening the pain initially by inactivity.
Acupuncture for low back pain: acupuncture has a wide variety of medical uses and can be especially helpful in dealing with musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritic symptoms, neck, back and joint pain. 
acupuncture pain relief comes quickly and is often long lasting; acupuncture combines well with osteopathy .
The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture works better than anything modern medicine has devised for the
treatment of back pain, scientists have concluded.

In trials among 1,100 patients with
chronic lower back pain which had lasted for an average of eight years, almost half (47 per cent) of those who received acupuncture showed significant improvement – compared with barely a quarter (27 per cent) of those given conventional treatment. The effects lasted for at least six months, long after the treatment was completed.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Regensberg, in the spa town of Bad Abbach in Germany, who randomly allocated patients to receive ten 30-minute sessions of sham acupuncture, real acupuncture or conventional treatment.

Sham acupuncture involved sticking needles in randomly over the lower back, avoiding the meridians and points that dictate where the needles are placed in
traditional acupuncture.

The results showed that 44 per cent of volunteers suffering from
back pain showed a significant improvement with sham acupuncture.

Michael Haake, who led the study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, said: "The superiority of both forms of acupuncture suggests a common underlying mechanism that may act on pain generation or transmission of pain signals ... and is stronger than the action mechanism of conventional therapy."

The findings add to evidence accumulated over the past 10 years suggesting that the 4,000-year-old practice of
acupuncture is an effective treatment for back pain, which affects up to 70-85 per cent of the population at some point.
If you also have lost bladder or bowel control, call your doctor or be seen in an Accident and Emergency hospital right away.

Controlled trials and systematic reviews in human research provide increasingly stronger evidence that acupuncture effectively treats chronic spinal pain. Several uncontrolled studies have reported that acupuncture improves spinal pain of various causes in dogs and horses. According to Adrian R. White, MD, the author of several systematic reviews on acupuncture, “Acupuncture treatment should be considered for anyone who has nonspecific mechanical back pain that has persisted for 6 weeks or more despite standard treatment.” In humans, ten sessions of needle body acupuncture produced stable, long-term effects lasting at least six months according to a recently published prospective cohort study. A 2005 paper systematically reviewing acupuncture for chronic low back pain echoed the findings of earlier work, concluding that adding acupuncture plus conventional treatment produced better analgesia and functional improvement than conventional treatments alone. However, not all acupuncture treatments are equal. Deeper acupuncture stimulation in humans with lumbar myofascial pain provides greater
pain reduction than does superficial needling, although it causes more post- treatment soreness. Neuroanatomically focused acupuncture addresses
spine-related pain by treating the nerves mediating pain from spinal structures. Stimulation of paravertebral somatic afferent fibers at acupuncture points
along the spine suppresses activity in spinal nociceptive neuron.
Acupuncture also works by affecting various aspects of the central nervous system. Acupuncture attenuates inflammation in part by activating the
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis Opioid peptides in the spinal cord and brain participate in endogenous pain control pathways.
39 The reduction in
central nervous system excitation helps dampen pain transmission and sympathetic tone. Acupuncture improves muscle blood flow which benefits patients with chronic pain.

Pj Cousin is a full member of the British Acupuncture Council and of the Unified Register of herbal Practitioners

Acupuncture at Cure by Nature
95 Replingham Road, London SW18 5LU

Tel: 07720773890

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Appointment available weekdays only

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
is one of the oldest and most mysterious form of health care, the first book on this subject is about 2500 years old, and there are indications that the Chinese were already using a crude form of TCM 4000 years ago.
Today, this medical system is widely used in China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and all around Asia; in China alone there are 2500 hospitals specialising in TCM. This complex medical system is taught in 30 Chinese universities, to thousands of students from 120 different countries.

Acupuncture at Cure By Nature
95 Replingham Road
London SW18 5LU

tel: 020 88751101

For a map
Click here

Appointment available Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Acupuncture London: fertility clinics of acupuncture and complementary medicine at 95 Replingham Road london SW18 5LU