Low Back Pain

Stacks Image 116
Low back pain is extremely common, affecting 9 out of every 10 of us at some stage in our lives. Back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of days lost at work. Acupuncture is widely used to treat low back pain and various trials and reviews have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for low back pain. However, some research suggests that actually having acupuncture needles inserted is more than important than where they are put. Not all acupuncturists would agree with this. I usually insert needles into 'trigger points' or painful knots of muscle. Hitting the trigger point, resulting in a flinch or twitch, in the muscle is important to ensure the treatment works.
To treat low back pain, needles are usually inserted in the lower back in the region where pain is felt. Needles are also sometimes inserted in other points, for example in the arms and legs.
Low back pain usually requires at least 4-6 treatments to get on top of the pain, though longstanding pain may require more treatments.
In 2009 the NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) recommended that all patients with low back pain should be
offered a course of acupuncture, an exercise programme or a course of manual therapy, such as osteopathy. This means that acupuncture should be widely available on the NHS but sadly it isn’t. Not many people who go to their GP with back pain and request a course of acupuncture treatment will be able to obtain this on the NHS, despite the NICE recommendation.
Stacks Image 11