Dry Needling and Acupuncture For The Treatment of Back Pain

People question me every day whether or not acupuncture will work for the relief of their back injury or lower back pain. Some of them think that being pricked with tiny needles will actually cause more pain. I explain to them that acupuncture relieves physical pain because it stimulates the production and release of pain-killing substances within the body to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. The treatment is a very effective and safe way of alleviating both chronic and acute pain. I have found it especially advantageous in the management and treatment of back pain, back spasms, and back aches after a lower back injury.

What is Acupuncture?

One among the many modalities of an ancient medical system known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is a treatment that involves the application of reed-thin acupuncture needles into specific parts of the body called acupuncture points located on the surface of the skin. Underneath these acupuncture points (acupoints) lie energy pathways called meridians wherein vital energy known as qi or chi flows to provide energy and nourishment to all organs and tissues throughout the body in order to heal a condition or maintain health. Besides acupuncture, TCM has other healing procedures that include Chinese herbal medicine and Yin and Yang breathing techniques.

Acupuncture is around 5000 years old and the Chinese were using it for various purposes, not just for the relief of pain. Acupuncture existed before steel was invented which meant the needles used then where made from thin bamboo shoots. The Chinese were using Acupuncture with great success long before they knew what was underneath the ‘needle’ they were placing into the body.

The acupoints and meridians are some of the fundamental principles underlying traditional acupuncture. Practitioners believe that the meridians were channels of energy that were associated with different vessels/organs in our body – the Heart, Large Intestine, Liver, etc. These meridians run all through our body. Traditional acupuncturists believe that for relief of any type of pain, be it back spasms, buttock pain, back aches, and acute or chronic pain, they need to tap into these meridians through the use of a ‘needle’. The needle does not necessarily have to be placed on or near the site of the discomfort.

For back injury and lower back pain, traditional acupuncture has constantly been shown to work in providing pain relief. Besides reducing chronic pain and back spasms, lower back pain acupuncture treatment can also help reduce long term changes in how the brain processes pain.

These past few years has seen the wider acceptance of acupuncture in Western culture particularly when it comes to pain relief from back pain, headaches and even pregnancy-related ailments. With more and more studies being conducted into the actual process of needling and how it works, a form of acupuncture has emerged in the West. It is known as Dry Needling and it especially works in the relief of muscle spasm, providing very fast relief from buttock pain, back spasm, and back aches resulting from muscle spasm after back injury.

Muscle Spasm

When a back injury occurs, the back muscles will spasm to protect the injured part of the body. This leads to really painful back spasms and aches. A lot of the muscles surrounding the pelvis will also spasm after a back injury, causing pain in the buttock oftentimes accompanied by lower back pain and back aches that may not be evident on MRI or x-ray scans.

Trigger points may develop in the muscles when muscle spasm intensifies. Those trigger points are the primary causes of back spasm, buttock pain, and back pain along with a major cause of back aches. The dry needling technique works perfectly in removing these trigger points which leads to total cure of the back spasms, back aches, and lower back pain.

A major cause of back pain after a back injury is usually the trigger points and muscle spasm, as the root underlying issue problem usually tends to heal itself. This is one reason why the MRI or x-ray will show nothing for a lot of sufferers, which causes their doctor to question the real cause of their back pain.

Dry Needling

Dry Needling is a very effective and safe way to eliminate these trigger points through fast needling of the area. Dry Needling, unlike Acupuncture, is performed for just five to ten seconds; a typical acupuncture procedure usually lasts for fifteen to twenty minutes. This technique I have found to work extremely well in the cure of spine pain, buttock pain, back spasms, lower back pain, and back aches. Pain relief can be felt almost instantaneously when the trigger point is removed since it’s the main cause for back pain after back injury.