What is lower back pain?
Four out of five adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives in USA. Acute back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks, but chronic back pain may last more than 3 months. There are many causes of lower back pain, but the most common causes are muscle strain and degenerative disc disease. In traditional Chinese medicine theory, external factors such as extreme weather, injury, and excessive sexual activity, can lead to the block of qi and blood, which results in low back pain if the block of qi and blood is located at the lower back.
Can acupuncture control lower back pain?
Lower back pain limits activity and is the second most frequent reason for physician visits. Previous research shows widespread use of acupuncture for lower back pain. One meta-analysis is designed to assess acupuncture's effectiveness for treating lower back pain. The 33 randomized, controlled trials that met inclusion criteria were sub-grouped according to acute or chronic pain, style of acupuncture, and type of control group used. For the primary outcome of short-term relief of chronic pain, the meta-analyses showed that acupuncture is significantly more effective than sham treatment and no additional treatment. At last, the study concluded that Acupuncture effectively relieves chronic low back pain (Ann Intern Med. 2005 Apr 19;142(8):651-63).
How many/often acupuncture sessions do I need?
Usually, 1-3 sessions for acute back pain; 6-16 sessions for chronic back pain, depending on the situation. Twice a week is recommended for a better treatment result.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. Acupuncture is a safe treatment. It may occasionally cause dizziness, local internal bleeding, dermatitis, nerve damage, and/or increased pain (especially when the acupuncturist is not well-trained). So a well-trained professional and experienced acupuncturist is vital for effectiveness and safety.