Acupuncture Treatments for Back Pain

Acupuncture Treatments for Back Pain

Did you know back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctors? Fortunately, you can take measures to relieve most back pain symptoms. Simple home remedies and body mechanics will often heal your back within a few weeks. Acupuncture is another treatment to consider if other options don't alleviate your symptoms.

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain generally develops without a specific cause. Your physician can diagnose the cause of your back pain with a test or imaging study. However, the most common signs and symptoms of back pain are muscle ache, shooting or stabbing pain, pain that radiates down your leg, or limited flexibility of the back.

Conditions commonly linked to back pain include:

  • Muscle or ligament strain. Heavy lifting may put excess strain on the back muscles and spinal ligaments. Constant strain may cause painful muscle spasms.
  • Bulging or ruptured disc. The cushion-like material inside a disc can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve in your back.
  • Arthritis. This condition in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around your spinal cord and cause a condition called spinal stenosis.
  • Skeletal irregularities. Back pain is common if your spine curves abnormally.
  • Osteoporosis. Compression fracture may develop if your bones become brittle and porous.

Anyone can develop back pain, but there are several factors that may put you at greater risk of developing it:

  • Age. Back pain is more common during your 30s and 40s.
  • Lack of exercise. Weak muscles in your back may lead to back pain.
  • Excess weight. Being overweight puts extra stress on your back.
  • Diseases. Arthritis and cancer can contribute to back pain.
  • Psychological conditions. Individuals with depression or anxiety tend to be at a great risk for back pain.

Click Here to Receive a $40 Certificate for your 1st Acupuncture Treatment and Evaluation.

Anatomy of the Back

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Your spine is divided into four sections: the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (upper back), lumbar spine (lower back), and the sacral region.

There are five vertebrae in your lumbar spine, which is typically curved inward. These vertebrae are make of bones with each separated by a disc. The thoracic spine, which is the chest region of your spine, is located above the lumbar spine.

Large muscles located in your lower back support your spine. They help power twisting and bending movements.

The two lowest section of your lumbar spine carry the most weight, making it the most prone to injury.

Preventing Back Pain

You may be able to avoid back pain by improving your body's physical condition. This includes:

  • Exercise. Low-impact aerobic activities such as walking and swimming can increase strength and endurance in your back.
  • Build muscle strength and flexibility. Core strength exercises can help help these muscles work together. Having flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bones to improve how your back feels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, trimming down can prevent back pain.

Proper body mechanics include practicing good posture as this can reduce the stress put on back muscles. If you must sit for long periods, choose a seat with good lower back support. Lastly, avoid heavy lifting. But if you must lift a heavy box, let your legs do the work.

Medical Treatments for Back Pain

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Depending on the severity of back pain you have, your physician might recommend:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Narcotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Steroid injections
  • PRP regenerative injections

If this doesn't work, surgery might be the next step. If you are experiencing pain associated with radiating leg pain or muscle weakness caused by nerve compression, surgery might be a good option. It is generally reserved for pain associated with structural problems or a herniated disk that hasn't responded to surgery.

Acupuncture and Back Pain

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A non-traditional treatment option for back pain, acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that can be traced back over 2,500 years. Acupuncture revolves around the premise that the body contains patterns of energy flow. The vital energy of the body is called "qi" and proper flow is considered to be necessary to maintain health.

During an acupuncture treatment, your physician will insert hair-thin metallic needles into the body. Longer acupuncture needles are inserted into areas of deep muscle and fat layers while shorter needles just break the surface of the skin.

The needles are left in for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Some physicians insert needles and turn them in either direction, depending on what they are attempting to achieve.

Benefits of acupuncture for lower back pain include:

  • Increased circulation
  • Decreased levels of stress
  • Improved immune system
  • Pain relief
  • More energy and vitality

There are several treatments that can be combined with acupuncture to ease symptoms of back pain. Chiropractic care is often used in addition to acupuncture treatments to hand-manipulate your spin in order to ease your pain.

Massage can also be used if your back pain is caused by tense or overworked muscles.


Roughly 8 in 10 people suffer back pain over their lifetime. Acupuncture is an effective treatment option as it provides pain relief.

Learn more about Acupuncture in our Chandler AZ Clinic. Alpha Chiropractic and Physical Therapy provides treatment for many patients in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and Maricopa. Most patients have never seen a clinic that combines treatments from different providers into improving your pain. Chiropractic Adjustments are enhanced with physical therapy exercises and stretches.

Muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries often complicate low back injuries and treatments. Massage therapy, FAKTR, kinesio taping, and other soft tissue treatments such as Graston Technique can help relieve low back pain.

Many people talk of sciatica and radiating pain down their leg. Some people can experience burning, tingling, sensation changes, and even muscle loss in their legs and feet. In severe cases with lumbar disc bulges and herniations, spinal disc decompression treatment can speed the recovery and healing. The therapy increases blood flow to the spinal discs and relieve pressure from the compromised spinal nerve.

Therapy and treatments for many types of conditions can be improved with a combination of acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy. Learn more about our unique Chandler Chiropractic Clinic.

Click Here to Receive a $40 Certificate for your 1st Acupuncture Treatment and Evaluation.