When you live with back pain, you often feel like you just can’t get out of bed in the morning. Whether it’s a muscle you pulled playing sports in high school or college, or it’s pain caused by a recurrent flare-up, the pain can shoot down along your lower back and cause so much pain that the only thing you want to do is curl up with a heating pad in bed. Recent studies found that acupuncture may offer the relief that you and others in your situation need. This ancient practice may even work better than traditional remedies recommended by your doctor do.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Chinese practice that dates back more than 2,000 years ago. Proponents believe that the body consists of thousands of points that push energy throughout the body. If your body lacks these connections, you might suffer from back pain, headaches and other symptoms. Those practicing the technique uses thin and lightweight needles that they place in various spots of the body. A recent study found that acupuncture can reduce lower back pain by more than 30 percent. Similar studies found that more than half of participants noticed a reduction in back pain after a single session.
Why Does Acupuncture Work?
There are a few reasons why doctors and scientists believe that acupuncture works for those with lower back pain. The first is that the needles create an injury in the skin that causes the brain to increase its production of opioids. These opioids make you feel tired and help you sleep better at night, but the opioids also increase your body’s ability to fight pain. Doctors also believe that acupuncture can increase the body’s production of neurotransmitters that change the way nerves respond to pain, which can lead to a reduction in lower back pain.
Is Acupuncture Right for You?
As with any new medical procedure, it’s important that you talk with your doctor before undergoing acupuncture treatment. Pregnant women cannot have acupuncture, and those with certain heart problems or those who wear or use medical devices may not qualify for the procedures either. Those working in the field also recommend that those taking certain medications look for alternative treatments. Before scheduling an appointment, talk with your doctor. Your doctor can decide if this is the right treatment for you and help you find a licensed and certified professional working in the field in your area.