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acupuncture for back pain relief
July 10, 2015
Tips For Relieving Lower Back Pain Acupuncture Brisbane
Most of us, at one point in our lives have or will suffer from some type of back pain. It is one of the leading causes of missed work days & affects millions of lives daily. Most back pain will go away by itself over time but sometimes chronic pain could mean something a little more serious such as lumbar disc protrusion. Most of the time, people quickly reach for painkillers but over time, these painkillers can have negative effects on your body’s digestive system. Instead of reaching right away for the painkillers, here are some natural ways you can relieve that pain. The following are just a few simple things you can do to relieve and prevent back pain:
Although it may not be obvious at first glance, poor nutrition is actually one of the top root causes of back pain. Being overweight increases the weight bearing pressure on your spine which may cause your muscles to tense and lock up. lack of water affects the muscles and joints as well. (1) Also, heavily processed foods containing lots of sugar, salt, and fat, have an inflammatory effect on the body. It is best to drink plenty of water to keep the disc spaces in your spine hydrated. Ginger tea and turmeric also have great anti-inflammatory properties.
Stop Eating Crap
Your body depends on food and water for energy, healing, cleansing, and your very survival. [III] Avoid any inflammatory foods that are highly processed containing high sugar, sodas, msg, dairy from sick cows, excessive hormone fed animals and byproducts, etc. Not only do these foods hinder the body’s ability to heal, they are often the cause of obesity and puts extra weight on the spine and is another contributory factor in disc herniations (pictured below.) Alcohol and beer is another contributing factor because not only does it have an inflammatory effect on the body, it also contains heavy carbs which in turn gets stored as fat around the abdomen therefore putting even more strain on the lumbar discs.
Drink More Water
Keeping hydrated is also another key element in healing back pain. As we go about our daily activities, putting body weight on our discs, that water is squeezed out. Drinking enough water hydrates the body and allows the discs in our spine to move and absorb shock better. Drinking plenty of water also plays a key role in flushing out the body’s toxins.
2) Cold & Heat packs
For acute back pain cold packs may be very effective for relieving back pain. Cold numbs the pain and reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels and dampening the boy’s inflammatory reaction. (4) An ice pack or frozen bag of peas works just as well. For more chronic back pain (over three months) heat packs would be the better option.Warm heat packs are also a great way to relive pain because it helps in reducing cramping and muscle spasms. Heat improves the supply of oxygen the blood carries to the back by dilating (enlarging) the blood vessels. You can apply the heat pack directly to a sore or tense area of your back.(5)
Lower back pain affects millions of people daily and can be excruciatingly painful. It can cause much stress and frustration when left untreated. In my practice I’ve seen first hand how debilitating lower back pain is and how it affects us.
Below are several exercises I give to to my patients in my acupuncture Brisbane practice that can help if not heal the root cause:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Put your hands next to your hips with your palms on the floor. Keep your back straight as you lift your buttocks as high as you can off the mat. Be sure to exhale as you lift your buttocks on the way up. Pause. Lower your buttocks without touching the mat and breath in as you come down, then lift again. Do 8-12 repetitions. Rest and repeat the set. This exercise may be difficult; don’t continue to do it if painful.
Function: Stretches the muscles of the lower back and buttocks lower back and neck.
Lie on your stomach on a mat with your face up off the floor. Your arms should stretch out in front of you. Now raise your arms and legs as high as possible while extending your trunk. Hold for a count of 6-10 while breathing normally. Release slowly. Do 5-8 repetitions. Repeat the set. [II]
Function: Stretches the muscles of the lower back and buttocks lower back and neck.
Double Hip Rotations:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders on the floor at all times. Gently lower bot legs to on side, keeping both knees together., and turn your head to the opposite side. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Bring your knees back to the center and repeat on the other side.
Function: A gentle twist that stretches the muscles of the lower back, hip, side, and to a lesser extent the neck.
Press on the point between the very base of your thumb and forefinger directly at the furthest junction of where the bone meet using your nail. One of the ways that acupuncture and acupressure work is that they cause certain compounds such as endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) and serotonin (the body’s feel good chemical) to be released into the bloodstream.Therefore, pressing safely on certain spots hard enough to elicit achy pain, such as the fleshy point between the thumb and forefinger (called Ling gu), can be effective for treating pain back. While laying down on a sofa or bed, apply pressure on this point for at least 30 seconds and release it for another 5 seconds. Repeat at least 3x and wait to see how it impacts your back pain. (video below)
Video Courtesy Lu Therapy
The practice of yoga is a combination of breathing and mental focus. It allows the mind and body to relax in a gentle non-invasive way. Because of this, I often recommend yoga to my chronic back pain patients. In December 2005 the annals of internal medicine published a randomized controlled trial which concluded that viniyoga was effective treatment for chronic lower back pain. (7) It is best to let your instructor know about your condition however, before any exercise regimen or program is started.
Acupuncture has been proven to have great beneficial effect in treating lower back pain and may be the key to relieving your chronic back pain. According to a Pubmed study, people who received acupuncture treatments were more likely to find back pain relief than those receiving conventional care.
A typical acupuncture session would involve needling different points around the limbs which is very effective in relieving lower back pain. Acupuncture works on the limbic system which helps release of endorphin in the brain which tells the body to turn off the pain signals and increases blood circulation in the body. Acupuncture treatment would also involve local massage and cupping therapy to stimulate the affected area and improve blood circulation as well .
Below are case studies of the different types of lower back pain we see on a daily basis from our acupuncture Brisbane clinic:
Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan (独活寄生丸)
Herbs are also effective for treating lower back pain. Chinese Herbal remedies expel the cold and dampness in the body (often seen in lower back pain patients) when patients are not receiving treatment and give the body that extra boost it needs to keep the inflammation away.
There is a very effective patent formula called Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan (独活寄生丸) for for lower back pain. You can pick it up at your local Chinese medicine practitioner and ask for more details. The main ingredients include Angelica pubescens root and Loranthus stem which are used to treat arthritic and orthopedic disorders. These both have anti- inflammatory and analgesic properties.Your practitioner may prescribe these herbs to help relieve inflammation and kick start the healing process.
Tao Hong Su Wu Tang (桃红四物汤)
Another formula your practitioner may prescribe to you for lower back pain is Tao Hong Su Wu Tang. According to Chinese medicine most types of back pain are caused by blood stagnation. The old Chinese saying goes “When blood is not flowing freely there will be pain” （通则不痛.) In order to clear the stagnation and flow of blood we often use this formula which has Peach seed (桃仁) and Carthamus flower (红花) as it’s main active ingredient. Since it is blood mover, this formula should not be taken if a patient is on anti-coagulant medications or aspirin/ warfarin. For more details please ask your practitioner.
If you know anyone suffering from lower back pain please share this article or feel free to contact us for a free assessment. Please let them know that help is out there and that other options are available.
I]Katz, Jeffrey Neil, and Gloria Parkinson. “p.200.” Heal your aching back: what a Harvard doctor wants you to know about finding relief & keeping your back strong. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. . Print.
[II]Katz, Jeffrey Neil, and Gloria Parkinson. “p.198.” Heal your aching back: what a Harvard doctor wants you to know about finding relief & keeping your back strong. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. . Print.
[III]Cannone, Jesse. “p.61.” The 7-day back pain cure: how thousands of people got relief without doctors, drugs, or surgery. San Francisco, CA: Innovation Press, 2009. . Print. lower back pain acupuncture brisbane
Bob Wong was raised in a traditional Chinese medicine family and moved to mainland China to study and train for almost a decade. During that time, he was able to learn from some of the top acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners in at the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. His mission is not bring that knowledge and experience to help his patients.
Bob Wong currently maintains an acupuncture practice in the Brisbane area and lectures at the Endeavour College of Natural Health. For more information you can read his full bio or schedule and appointment.
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