Acupuncture for Back Pain:

While the exact mechanisms of acupuncture’s effects on back pain are not fully understood, several theories have been proposed based on both traditional Chinese medicine principles and modern scientific research. Here are some potential ways acupuncture may help with back pain:

  • Neurotransmitter and hormone release: Acupuncture may trigger the release of various neurotransmitters and hormones, such as endorphins, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These substances can act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers, helping to reduce pain and improve overall well-being.
  • Nerve stimulation and modulation: The insertion of needles at specific acupuncture points can activate nerve fibers, sending signals to the brain and spinal cord. This stimulation may influence the perception of pain, modulate pain signals, and promote a sense of relaxation.
  • Increased blood flow: Acupuncture has been shown to improve local blood circulation around the needled area. Increased blood flow can enhance tissue healing, reduce inflammation, and relieve muscle tension, which are common contributors to back pain.
  • Gate control theory: According to the gate control theory of pain, when non-painful input (such as the sensation produced by acupuncture needles) is sent to the spinal cord, it can close the “gates” that allow pain signals to pass through. This mechanism may help to block or reduce the perception of pain.
  • Nervous System Regulation: Acupuncture may have a regulatory effect on the autonomic nervous system. By balancing the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) systems, it can reduce tension and stress that might be exacerbating back pain.
  • Relaxation and stress reduction: Acupuncture sessions often involve lying still and relaxing, which can help reduce stress and tension. Chronic stress exacerbates back pain, and by promoting relaxation, acupuncture may indirectly improve pain symptoms.

While many people report experiencing relief from back pain through acupuncture, please note that individual responses to the treatment can vary. If you’re considering acupuncture for back pain, it’s important to consult with a licensed acupuncturist to discuss your specific condition and develop a suitable treatment plan.

For more in-depth information and research on how and why acupuncture might help with back pain, check out:

  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) – Acupuncture for Pain: Visit their page on acupuncture for pain to find research summaries and current scientific understanding: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture-in-depth

Given that there are virtually no harmful side effects resulting from acupuncture for pain by a Licensed Acupuncturist (except for rare instances of bruising or a few drops of blood with needle withdrawal), acupuncture should be at the top of the list of things to try if you are experiencing pain and don’t have an immediate need for surgery. Click her to learn more about how acupuncture works.

This is in stark contrast to the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which surprisingly for some, have made Adverse Drug Reactions the 4th leading cause of death in the United States!

While we do occasionally hit it out of the park on the first try and patients’ pain is gone, in fairness it is best to try a series of 3-6 sessions to see how well acupuncture for pain can help, and especially before you do drugs or surgery. (However acupuncture also complements conventional medical treatments because it helps the body to heal). Here is a large meta-study on the effectiveness of acupuncture.

Keep in mind that there are stages of healing and treatment: Stage 1 deals with putting out the fire and getting rid of aches and pains. Stage 2 involves treating the underlying conditions that allowed the aches and pains to develop. And Stage 3 is a maintenance program for those who would like to be proactive and prevent the imbalances and resulting symptoms from returning.

As every journey begins with the first step, schedule an appointment for acupuncture for pain with the link below:

Lafayette Acupuncture & Functional Medicine Hours

  • Mondays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesdays 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Wednesdays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursdays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Fridays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturdays Closed
  • Sundays Closed