Pain is probably the most universal of all health problems affecting people of all ages at least one point in their lives in all parts of the world.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory supports that acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of pains, including lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, hand pain, foot pain, headache and so forth. This is based on the conceptual understanding that a pain is the result of Qi, Blood, Fluids or all of these not flowing well in certain energy pathways and the organ systems. Acupuncture needles inserted on certain acupuncture points is understood to remove the blockage and encourage the smooth flow in the affected energy pathways to relieve the pains.
In more recent years, researchers have shown how acupuncture works based on the understanding of neuroscience and biochemistry. They also show the enhanced effects on pain management with the use of electro-acupuncture.
Acupuncture can help back pain by:
- providing pain relief – by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008).
- reducing inflammation – by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007;Zijlstra 2003).
- improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility – by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling and bruising.
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