Research carried out in 2002 indicated that almost 80% of the world’s population would suffer from some kind of back pain with lower back pain being the most common type. In addition to the high rate of incidence, back pain is also known to have a high rate of recurrence in patients. With patients trying everything from over the counter painkillers to physiotherapy to gain relief from back pain, Acupuncture comes as a welcome change.
Acupuncture is a natural method of treatment that involves no chemicals or surgery. Thin stainless steel needles are inserted into the body at various acupuncture points to stimulate the free flow of Chi or life force through the body. Free flowing Chi results in a healthy and pain free body. Large bodies of research have been able to establish a connection between acupuncture and relief from back pain-especially sciatica.
Sciatica refers to a type of back pain in which the pain radiates from the buttocks down the legs. Sometimes, sciatica pain can also be a consequence of a muscle spasm impinging on the sciatica nerve. Acupuncture can be effectively used to alleviate muscle spasms. The results are almost immediate and can provide relief within minutes.
Back pain is generally caused because muscles that are not frequently exercised and stretched are suddenly put to excessive use. Muscle spasms are common in such cases and result in the individual feeling sore, stiff and a dull ache in the back. Patients suffering from sciatica may even feel a tingling sensation or numbness. This is generally due to the narrowing of the disc space or a disc protrusion in the lumbar region.
Acupuncture is used to improve blood circulation to the entire lumbar region and spinal cord. It relaxes paraspinal muscles and provides relief from muscle spasms. The increased blood flow provides greater nourishment to the discs and increases the elasticity and strengthens the spinal cord. Thus, acupuncture can be extremely effective in reducing back pain symptoms. It is important to remember that different patients respond differently to acupuncture sessions and it can take anywhere between 4-12 sessions to really feel the difference.