Back Pain Relief
Acupuncture and Back Pain Relief
Back Pain can affect anyone at any age and most people will suffer from it at some point in their lives. It is the UK’s leading cause of disability and one of the main reasons for work-related sickness absence. The condition affects more than 1.1 million people in the UK, with 95% of patients suffering from problems affecting the lower back. Back pain currently costs the NHS and community care services more than £1 billion each year. Most lower back pain is caused not by serious damage or disease, but by sprains, muscle strains, minor injuries, or a pinched or irritated nerve. It can also occur during pregnancy, or because of stress, viral infection or a kidney infection.
Research has shown that acupuncture is significantly better than no treatment and at least as good as (if not better than) standard medical care for back pain. It appears to be particularly useful as an adjunct to conventional care, for patients with more severe symptoms and for those wishing to avoid analgesic drugs. It may help back pain in pregnancy and work-related back pain, with fewer work-days lost.
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.
• reducing inflammation - by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
• improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility - by increasing local microcirculation, which aids dispersal of swelling and bruising.
• reducing the use of medication for back complaints.
• providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time.
• improving the outcome when added to conventional treatments such as rehabilitation exercises.
(Please contact me if you would like details of evidence-based research.)
If you would like to know more about how Acupuncture can help you, please do contact me.