Can Acupuncture Help Back Pain?
Low back pain means pain in the lower lumbar, lumbosacral, or sacroiliac regions possibly accompanied by pain radiating down one or both buttocks and legs.
Low back pain is one of the most common complaints. It is present in at least 50% of all persons 60 years of age or older. It accounts for millions of hours lost from work and more millions of dollars spent on treatment and medication.
Low back pain may be either acute or chronic. It can be simply annoying or irritating or it can produce unbearable physical and emotional suffering. In Western medicine, acute low back pain is treated with rest, local heat, massage, oral analgesics, and muscle relaxants.
Chronic lower back pain is treated by weight loss, exercise, orally administered and intramuscularly injected analgesics, and surgery. However, long-term narcotic use has its own problems, and surgery is not always effective.
On the other hand, the Chinese have been treating lower back pain with acupuncture and Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, and, in the last 50 years, a large body of research has been developed showing that Chinese medicine can be an effective alternative to Western drugs and surgery.
Recent Chinese research supports the use of acupuncture for low back pain. In one publication (Wang Wen-yuan et al., in Bei Jing Zhong Yi (Beijing Chinese Medicine), #1, 1993), patients received acupuncture once per day for a total of 10 treatments. Of the total 5,461 cases so treated, 76.10% were cured and the total improvement rate was 97.20%
This is just one of many examples, studies and research reports.
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