While disc related pain can be both severe and debilitating, it usually does not require surgery. While Western medicine is well-equipped to address this pain via oral medications and epidural injections into the joint space, these interventions are not always effective nor desirable.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, can be both safe and effective for a variety of spine-related and orthopedic issues. While not as ‘strong’ as the above interventions, acupuncture can relieve pain, calm nerves, facilitate local tissue repair and decrease inflammation.
When to Consider Acupuncture
- You prefer not to take steroids or undergo an epidural injection
- Steroids or injections have not sufficiently addressed your issue
- You are looking for an intervention in lieu of surgery
- You are looking to prevent/maintain back health using natural methods
Common issues affecting the spine include:
- Disc impingement
- Disc prolapse
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the spine causing nerve impingement)
How Acupuncture Treats Spine & Disc Issues
Acupuncture works on multiple levels to address pain
- Improves circulation to the site of injury
- Regulates nerve pain signals
- Relieves muscle spasms
- Generates an endorphin response
- Reduces inflammation
A Chinese Medical Perspective
Chronic back pain would be considered as either a deficiency of kidney qi or as chronic qi and blood stagnation. The kidney is responsible for stem cell production, and by extension production of blood cells and the bones. Because the kidneys reside in the low back, issues in this area are rightly assigned to the kidney. However, just because a person has back pain does not mean they have an issue with their kidney.