If you or someone your love is struggling with back pain, Contact Us here
or call 03 8802 1519 today to find out how acupuncture can help.
Back pain is a very common problem -one that will strike four out of five Australian at some time in their lives. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons people seek medical care. Unfortunately, back pain isn’t always easy to diagnose or relieve. Lower back pain in particular can become a chronic, or ongoing problem.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are natural approach in help relieving back pain. They can also be used together with traditional western treatments to maximise your healing and recovery.
How back pain happens
There are many possible causes for back pain. They include strained muscles or ligaments. These often caused by improper lifting, sudden movement or traumatic injury. Other can include arthritis, structural abnormalities of the spine, or when bulged/ruptured disc pressing a nerve. Back pain is generally treated with medications, physiotherapies, chiropractic care, and in some cases, surgery.
Acupuncture – A more natural approach
Practitioners of acupuncture and TCM view back pain another way. We will not only work to relieve your symptoms, but will also work to find and treat the underlying cause of your pain.
Based on seven systematic reviews (two of high quality, three of moderate quality, and two of low quality), acupuncture is more clinically effective in pain relief and functional improvement than no treatment at short-term follow-up. Based on five systematic reviews (one of high quality, two of moderate quality, and two of low quality), acupuncture as an adjunct therapy provides short-term clinically improvements in pain and functional measures for chronic low back pain. (Acupuncture for Low Back Pain: An Overview of Systematic Reviews -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364128/)
Acupuncture TCM and back pain
Acupuncture and TCM are based on the concept that Qi (pronounced “Chee”) or vital energy, flows through the body in channels called meridians. If Qi becomes stagnant, unbalanced, or deficient, symptoms, such as back pain, ache, and inflammation can result. This can happen for any number of reasons, from injury and illness to stress or external invades such as wind or dampness. Back pain can arise from disharmonies such as:
Stagnation type pain
It is often linked to sudden, stabbing, severe pain and related to sprains, strains, or trauma. It can be accompanied by stiffness and tightness and becomes worse with rest. If it occurs often in the same area(s) it may reflect as underlying deficiency.
Cold, damp obstruction type pain which is generally worse in the morning, and exacerbated by cold or damp weather, swelling, and a sense of “heaviness”. Heat improves this condition.
Deficiency type pain
It is usually a chronic condition that present with a “dull” pain, and improves with rest.
Once we have determined the cause(s) of your back pain, we will create a specific treatment plan designed to address your concerns and boost your overall health and vitality.
During acupuncture treatment, Fine, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways in order to restore the balance and flow of Qi. We may also perform acupressure or other types of therapy such as cupping, stretching exercises, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
We may also suggest lifestyle changes and self-care techniques, especially if you struggle with chronic pain. These may include:
Try to stand with your head up, shoulders, back and pelvis in a straight position. when sitting, try to sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and your knees and hip level. Try to balance your weight evenly when walking and standing.
Keep your back and abdominal muscles strong with regular exercise. Yoga, Tai Qi or Qi Gong are gentle and effective. Consider adding aerobic exercise as well to improve your overall health and reduce stress.
Stress can take a real toll on your health and contribute to muscle pain. Meditation or deep-breathing techniques can help you stay calm and relaxed. Massage is another great way to help relieve stress and loosen tense muscles.
Acupuncture for back pain FAQ
Q: I hurt my back just today or yesterday, can I have acupuncture for the pain?
A: Yes, acupuncture is good for acute back pain even during the very first stage.
Q: In addition to acupuncture treatment, what else can I do to alleviate acute back pain? Should I use heat or ice?
A: It is recommended to rest and lie in bed, applying ice to the affected area for 20 minutes every 2 hours within the first 24 hours of injury. After that, you may switch to using heat.
Q: Should I have massage at the early stage?
A: Generally, it is not recommended. While massage may provide some relief by easing muscle spasms, it can potentially worsen the pain if done within the first 24 or 48 hours.
Q: I have a bulging/ruptured disc, can acupuncture help?
A: Yes, acupuncture can be beneficial in treating back pain caused by a bulging disc, ruptured disc, or herniated disc. We can provide lifestyle suggestions, posture advice, stretching/strengthening exercises, and assist in preventing the pain from recurring.
Our goal is to alleviate your back pain and provide comprehensive support to enhance your overall well-being.
Q: I have been dealing with chronic back pain and have sought treatment from various healthcare professionals with limited improvement. How is your treatment approach different?
A: Our approach differs in several ways:
Firstly, we utilise a comprehensive diagnostic approach that combines both Western and Chinese Medicine techniques. This includes assessments such as Straight Leg Raising Testing (SLR), Braggers testing, local palpation, as well as unique Chinese medicine tongue and pulse diagnosis. By gathering this information, we gain a deeper understanding of the causes, location, and severity of your back pain. This allows us to provide a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis.
Secondly, we employ a personalised treatment plan based on the specific diagnosis. Our treatment modalities may include acupuncture, acupressure (Chinese deep tissue massage), cupping therapy, Infra-red heat therapy, and stretching therapies.
Additionally, we provide specially designed stretching exercises tailored to your needs. We may also offer advice on posture improvement, stress management, and dietary adjustments. If desired, Chinese herbal medicine for pain relief can be incorporated into the treatment plan.
Our aim is to address the root causes of your chronic back pain and provide a comprehensive treatment approach that is customised to your individual needs.
Q: How often should I have the treatment and how many sessions can I see the difference?
A: For acute back pain, it is recommended to have two treatment sessions per week. In the case of chronic back pain, most individuals opt for one treatment per week over a period of 4 to 5 weeks. Significant improvement can often be noticed after these initial treatments. However, depending on your progress, a re-assessment or referral may be suggested.
If your pain has significantly diminished and remains stable, your practitioner may discuss the possibility of a maintenance care plan with you. This will involve a reduced frequency of treatments aimed at sustaining the progress you have made.
Almond Wellness Centre Clinics
Almond Wellness Centre located in Victoria’s Coburg and Ringwood areas, is a multidisciplinary clinic devoted to fostering wellness. Our clinics place great importance on comprehensive healthcare that encompasses the whole person. We approach each individual as a unique entity, considering their lifestyle, diet, environment, emotions, and attitude.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing acute or chronic back pain and would like to explore the potential benefits of Chinese medicine acupuncture, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our fully qualified registered acupuncture Chinese medicine practitioners in both Coburg clinic and Ringwood clinic are here to provide information and assistance.