Low back pain is the most common complaint of patients. It apparently has been for thousands of years. 60 to 80 per cent of people will suffer a disabling episode of back pain at least once in their life. At any time at least 17% of Americans are having low back pain. The variety of back movements involve several coordinated action of nerves, muscles and levers. Elastic energy stored in the fascia and ligaments also provide momentum to movement, and these can be a cause.

Ligamentous disorders are extremely common causes. Standing still is difficult. Pain is worse in the morning and improves with movement. There can be sprains, strains, disc protrusions, degenerative arthritis, facet disorders, sacroiliac ligaments, and other causes. Acupuncture has many different approaches for treatment.

The systematic review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (April 04, 2007), found that compared with medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants or analgesics), acupuncture resulted in greater pain relief and better function. A study in Germany in 2017 with 1,100 patients compared acupuncture with conventional therapy. Acupuncture patients had 47% improvement and medications with standard care had 27% relief. “Acupuncture represents a highly promising and effective treatment option for chronic back pain,” said study co-author Dr. Heinz Endres at Ruhr University. “Patients experienced not only reduced pain intensity, but also reported improvements in the disability that often results from back pain and, therefore, the quality of life.”

Three other studies reported pain intensity using a VAS to measure pain. The result revealed that acupuncture group experienced a significantly greater reduction in pain intensity than those who received conventional medication.

Detailed history and exam always precede our treatment. Evaluation of progress is always a part of the treatment plan.

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