Acupuncture and Back Pain Relief

Acupuncture and Back Pain Relief

Acupuncture and Back Pain

Most people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Whether you “throw your back out” making a small movement, or work out too hard, this pain can range from mild, daily muscle soreness to sharp pain that prevents you from performing normal day-to-day activities.

A few common causes of low back pain include a bulging disc, a herniated disc, degenerative arthritis, stenosis, and physical trauma. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, or tingling, often radiating from the back towards the buttocks or leg. Sciatic symptoms like these normally result from a pinched or herniated nerve near the spine.

Muscle tightness, often from excessive physical activity or a functional issue with the spine such as degenerative arthritis, can also contribute to low back discomfort. Regardless of the cause, acupuncture may be able to reduce pain and inflammation.

How Western Medicine Handles Back Pain

Western medicine may diagnose back pain as sciatica or stenosis using an MRI or X-ray—or perhaps just by talking with the patient. Next, the patient will be given muscle relaxers and/or pain medication. If that doesn’t work, the patient might be given a steroid shot—or even be scheduled for surgery.

Over-the-counter or prescription, pain medications may offer some temporary relief, but they do not treat the underlying issue(s) or cause of the pain. Medication may mask the pain to the point where a person continues to do a certain activity that may worsen the physical problem at the root of the back pain. And, lately we hear so much on the news about the dangers of opioids that it’s no wonder a person would want to steer clear of these medicines.

How Traditional Chinese Medicine Handles Back Pain

On the other hand, Traditional Chinese Medicine treats back pain based on patient interaction. Acupuncture has been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 4,000 years, and modern-day studies suggest that acupuncture can help manage pain, especially pain in the back, neck, and knees, as well as headaches.

In many cases, low back pain is a result of kidney deficiency and blockage of qi and blood. Acupuncture unblocks the stagnation, increases blood flow to the area, and boosts kidney function to support the lower back. Your acupuncturist may prescribe all-natural (not pharmaceutical) herbs to help accelerate the healing process.

Everyone is different, and so everyone receives a different treatment. Whereas Western medicine gives every patient the same treatment (like the prescriptions and surgery mentioned above), Traditional Chinese Medicine is focused on getting to the root of the problem. An acupuncturist will develop a treatment protocol based on your specific type of pain and will determine whether your pain is reduced with pressure, heat, or other factors.

When a patient comes in with back pain, the acupuncturist wants to learn the cause of the pain; for example, some people may have strained a muscle, while others may be experiencing their spine pinching on a nerve. Acupuncture is a treatment customized for the patient that is designed to focus on the cause of the problem, helping to naturally get the blood flowing to relax muscles, reduce inflammation, and ultimately to relieve pain.

Pearl Acupuncture Can Help

Pearl Chang Russell practices as a licensed acupuncturist in Richardson, just outside of Dallas, Texas and holds a Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Pearl’s source of inspiration is her grandmother, whose wealth of knowledge and experience spans more than 50 years in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Pearl at or 972-813-9414. Or, book an appointment today to start work toward relieving your back pain.

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