Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

How does acupuncture work? I had two sessions and my back pain is all gone.

Meridians are energy pathways through the body. They are connected together. Energy flows through the body via these pathways. Disorders are caused by imbalances of the energy flow. Blockage of any meridian can cause problems. Acupuncture helps the body clear the blockage and restores the energy balance.

From a scientific point-of-view, the exact way in which acupuncture works is unknown. Western science suggests the body responds to the new (painful) input by paying attention to it and ignoring the original pain. This is called the gate control theory of pain. Back pain goes away when the nervous system starts to pay attention to the pain of the needles stuck in the skin.

It's also possible acupuncture releases natural pain relieving chemicals in the body. These include endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.

Acupuncture hasn't been shown to be consistently effective in the treatment of low back pain. Most people get better faster with acupuncture compared with no treatment or even a sham treatment. But the effect is short-term and doesn't last. Acupuncture combined with other forms of treatment seems to have the best results./p>

Andrea D. Furlan, MD, et al. Acupuncture and Dry-Needling for Low Back Pain: An Updated Systematic Review Within the Framework of the Cochrane Collaboration. In Spine. April 15, 2005. Vol. 30. No. 8. Pp. 944-963.

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