Essential Benefits of Acupuncture for Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common issues people face at some point in life. It can vary from mild to severe stages, and it often ends up converting to chronic pain. Although there are many treatment options for this kind of condition, acupuncture is considered the most efficient and recommended one.

The power of acupuncture for back pain lies in its holistic approach and methods focused on releasing the vital energy that flows through the meridians in the human body and stimulating blood flow – the stagnation in these two critical elements often causes pain in different body areas, including the back.

Acupuncture has provided remarkable results in treating back problems, and it has been widely used as the primary therapy for the pain. The following article will provide more useful information about the influence of acupuncture on treating back conditions and its benefits to the individual’s general health.

Makari Wellness: The Finest Acupuncture for Back Pain in San Diego, CA

Mike Woodworth, a certified acupuncturist and founder of Makari Wellness, does his best to provide a unique and efficient treatment to his clients. He uses the powerful combination of SFMA, ART techniques, acupuncture, orthopedic needling, and other essential therapies that deliver the best and the long-lasting results that allow painless and more seamless movement.

Don’t wait until it’s too late but book an appointment at the best acupuncture clinic for back pain San Diego can offer. Call us at (888) 871-8889 and schedule your initial examination with Mike.


How Does Acupuncture Work for Back Pain?

Acupuncture originates from Eastern medicine, which has been used for thousands of years for treating different types of health conditions, including those that are incurable, according to Western medicine.

Acupuncture treatments involve the insertion of small, thin, and stainless-steel needles into specific acupoints on the person’s body. Although it might seem painful and uncomfortable, the entire process is painless and safe. A certified practitioner must perform it in order to get the best experience and go through the therapy safely and efficiently.

Apart from encouraging the blood circulation and energy flow, the stimulation of the particular points on the body helps release chemicals in the muscles, brain, and spinal cord. These chemicals include endorphin, encephalin, and other neurochemicals that encourage the body’s own internal regulating system. That way, the body gains natural healing abilities while promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Acupuncture Points for Back Pain

Your practitioner will target your body’s specific points, depending on whether you feel pain in the lower or upper back.

For instance, some acupuncture points for lower back pain may include:

  • Points located in the back of the knees
  • Foot points
  • Lower back points
  • Hand points
  • Stomach points
  • Hip points.

Acupuncture for upper back pain, on the other hand, may involve the stimulation of the points located on the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back. When these points are triggered, parts of the nervous system are stimulated to relieve pain and produce natural painkillers. Therefore, acupuncture is also useful for treating similar neuromuscular issues, such as:

How Many Sessions of Acupuncture for Back Pain is Enough?

The specific number of the acupuncture sessions needed for treating back depends on the individual’s condition and response to acupuncture. Generally speaking, one treatment is not enough to reduce pain, but one or two therapies for five to six weeks will bring positive outcomes.

Note that even if your first session has brought some improvements, you’ll need to schedule more appointments to recover fully. Back pain often returns after some time, which is why you should sign for numerous treatments. Your acupuncturist will recommend the course of the therapy, and it’s always recommended to stick to the suggested plan.

Other Essential Lower Back Pain Treatment Options

There are other drug-free treatments used along with acupuncture, and all of them have proven their efficiency in addressing upper and lower back pain and stimulating the production of the body’s natural painkillers. These treatments include:

Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

In order to help patients achieve pain-free movement, practitioners need to identify the fundamental cause of the problem. Specific Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is one of the most efficient ways of diagnosing the internal imbalances and dysfunctions that may help manage the back pain successfully. The SFMA exams help the practitioner identify the sources of dysfunction and narrow the treatment options they can utilize to address the problem. The most common solutions include orthopedic and neurological acupuncture, which are combined to help the clients recover faster and obtain more long-lasting results.

Orthopedic Dry Needling for Back Pain

Although it’s similar to acupuncture, orthopedic dry needling is based on other concepts and approaches that help with sports injuries, joint issues, and other muscle pain resulting from different factors.

Dry needling must be performed by well-trained and skilled practitioners so that the treatment gives the best results. It includes the use of thin monofilament needles that penetrate the skin to trigger specific muscular points, promoting the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.

Trigger points play a significant role in the dry needling process. They are a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber, and they’re responsible for the disrupted function, restricted range of motion, pain, or local tenderness. By stimulating these points, dry needling decreases tightness, while increasing blood flow.

Core concepts of dry needling are rooted in Western medicine. Namely, the needle insertion is based on the modern understanding of physiology and anatomy of the human body, as well as the evaluation of pain patterns, posture, and orthopedic test.

Although dry needling itself can help manage chronic back pain, it provides better and more long-lasting outcomes when performed together with other lower back pain treatment methods.

Electroacupuncture for Back Pain

Electroacupuncture (EA) includes the application of electrical stimulation to acupuncture needles, and it’s mostly used when traditional acupuncture or other treatments have failed. However, practitioners sometimes decide to implement this method to deliver more visible results.

Electroacupuncture is used to improve the electrical stimulus of specific physiological reactions and produce significant analgesic and anesthetic effects. One of the most prominent advantages of using this technique is the ability to set stimulation frequency and intensity and adapt them to the individual’s condition.

Recent studies have shown that EA produces greater lower back pain reduction than transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

Active Release Techniques (ART) for Back Pain

Active Release Techniques (ART) is a form of manual therapy for addressing injured muscles, ligaments, fasciae, tendons and nerves. ART treatment for lower back pain is different from typical massages because it involves specific depth and tension, which is crucial for obtaining the best results.

ART is a quite comprehensive process that includes hundreds of protocols for treating every muscle, ligament, tendon, fascia, and nerve in the body. The entire ART process is focused on breaking up scar tissue to restore the function of the injured muscle, remove impairments, and help patients get rid of the pain.

The ART system is a unique and incredibly efficient treatment. Licensed providers are trained to treat more than 300 muscular and facial injuries, as well as 100 nerve entrapments that often cause numbness and tingling. A patient may notice the results after 4 to 6 treatments – apart from pain relief, they will see improvements in movement, posture, strength, and flexibility.

By focusing on the individual’s strength and flexibility, and by providing corrective exercises for stability and posture correction, ART practitioners keep the problem from recurring and make sure patients recover more efficiently.

The best way to treat lower and upper back pain is to combine ART with orthopedic dry needling for getting faster and better results since it helps the practitioner treat tissues that cannot be reached by hand.

If patients don’t find ART alone useful, practitioners use the combination of moxibustion and dry needling/electroacupuncture instead. Such an approach is vital for promoting blood circulation and retraining of the muscles, and it has helped many people so far.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for Back Pain

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been practiced for several thousand years in Asia, but it has also gained popularity in other countries worldwide. It encompasses treatments such as acupuncture, herbal and nutritional therapies, moxibustion, and different types of approaches aimed at promoting general well-being.

Unlike Western medicine, which focuses on the sole problem, TCM focuses on the whole body and looks for the underlying disease that might be causing lower back pain. According to TCM, lower back pain is closely related to the health of the kidney system. Therefore, a certified Chinese herbalist will treat the main problem by addressing the kidney system.