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Health Tip

Acupuncture As Treatment For Back Pain

Acupuncture, in all its different forms has been shown indisputably to reduce pain, and it is especially favoured in the treatment of pain that doesn’t respond well to conventional drugs and painkilling techniques. Back pain is one of the most difficult types of pain to manage using western medicine, and acupuncture has been shown to be very beneficial. As of last year in fact, the National Health Service in the UK has started to routinely provide acupuncture for severe back pain cases, which is the first time acupuncture use has been officially sanctioned as a therapy in the UK.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is the most difficult type to treat, and although acupuncture is not thought to be effective when there is a clear cause such as direct injury or disease, many cases of severe back pain have no easily identified cause. In these cases, studies showed that the dysfunctuion caused by the back pain was significantly reduced in patients receiving a variety of acupuncture related treatments compared to those receiving any other treatments prescribed by their doctors.

Different methods of acupuncture

There are a variety of points on the lower back and legs which are generally indicated for stimulus in treating lower back pain. These can be stimulated by classic needle-based acupuncture, acupressure, electro-acupuncture or sham acupuncture using cocktail sticks. In almost all cases improvement was seen. The most interesting findings of the recent studies were perhaps the fact that there was no statistically different result from any of the different acupuncture methods related to each other. This would seem to show that the various types of acupuncture and acupressure techniques are best chosen by the patient, rather than prescribed, although certain other medical conditions can affect the choice especially when pregnancy or lymphatic problems are also involved.

Increase in documented treatment

It is widely believed that lower back pain in particular will start to be routinely treated with acupuncture, although it is still generally left to the discretion of the physician, UK patients now are permitted to demand acupuncture if they feel their other treatments are not working adequately. Although the actual process by which acupuncture works on back pain is not understood, the results are conclusive that it does work, and we will see more studies and information as a result of the increased number of medically documented cases receiving the treatment from now on. Other countries in the west are likely to follow the UK in approving this treatment, as it is relatively cheap, has few if any side effects, and it is proven to work.

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