Acupuncture has been used in the treatment of back pain for many decades. The procedure is quite simple and involves insertion of very fine needles into the body. The exact placement of the needles is important. Although acupuncture is widely used in the Orient to treat a range of medical disorders, it is only used to treat a few painful conditions in North America. No one knows exactly how acupuncture works but there are a few anecdotal reports that the treatment may help reduce pain and relieve vomiting.
Acupuncture for back pain is done on a weekly basis in an outpatient setting. Most individuals require anywhere from 8-12 treatments. Each clinic visit can last anywhere from 30-45 minutes
The treatment of back pain with acupuncture is done when you are lying down in a comfortable position. Most acupuncturist use single use sterile prepackaged needle. The insertion of the needle does sting for a second but is not very painful. When the needle reaches the appropriate depth one does feel the sting. After insertion of needles, the needles are often rotated or stimulated with either electricity or heat. Most people require anywhere from 10-15 needles per treatment. Once the needles are in place, they are usually left in the location anywhere for 5-25 minutes.
While there are a lot of oriental theories on how acupuncture works, the western concept is based on the belief that the needles most likely stimulate nerves or muscles and this helps to relieve pain and possibly increases blood flow.
Acupuncture is widely used to treat back pain. It is never the sole treatment but used as complimentary treatment to the conventional medical treatments. The majority of reports on the effectiveness of acupuncture are anecdotal and most scientists believe that the major effect of acupuncture is placebo based.
Acupuncture, nevertheless, is quite safe when performed by a skilled practitioner and has few complications. It is widely available and may help relieve pain. Individuals who do not like to take pills may find that acupuncture is a better alternative.
However, acupuncture does have a few negatives. It should never be done in any individual with a blood coagulation problem or has broken skin. There are many instances of needles breaking inside the body and damaging internal organs. Further if the needles are re-used (and they often are to save money), there is always the chance of transmitting an infection process.
So before you go and get acupuncture for your back pain, always ask for recommendations. Check the training of the therapist and most important find out what is the cost. The majority of medical insurance carriers and Medicare do not cover the costs of acupuncture. And the treatment does not come cheap.
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