Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain.

Some notes on the use of Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain

I tend to oscillate between what I understand about Chinese Medicine and what I have learned from my studies in anatomy and physiology. So it is therefore a combination of Eastern and Western disciplines.

Traditionally low back pain could be linked to Cold/Damp (Osteoarthritis), Empty Kidney energy,( see below*) or trauma

*Empty Kidney Energy The Bladder Channel runs along the lumbar spine bilaterally, and the control points for the Kidney are among these Bladder points. According to traditional thought our Kidney energy is affected by our disharmony with the way of nature. It cannot be replaced but we can ensure that it does not dissipate too quickly by faulty life-style. Traditionally the low back is related to Kidney energy. This is not the same as the kidneys in western medicine.

Does it hurt?

Continue reading Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain.

Pain Management Low Back Pain

Pain Management Back Pain

Over the years I have been presented with thousands of cases of back pain. I have found that in most cases it is possible to reduce the pain considerably to an acceptable level, even if it isn’t possible to make it disappear entirely. 

 These are my suggestions :-

 If pain has not resolved after 7 days seek a competent practitioner who is a Registered Osteopath. I have to admit I am biased because I am myself a Registered Osteopath and Acupuncturist. 

Consulting a Doctor

 Many people first of all consult their GP and this seems an obvious and sensible step. Unfortunately GPs are not experts with regard to backs and will most probably offer pain killers. NSAIDs or more recently Co-codamol seems to be the favourite painkillers along with a possible referral to physiotherapy. The GP visit may help to reassure you that serious disease is not the cause. However, this is going to take time, whereas getting the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible is going to save time and further problems.


 It is becoming more and more obvious that drug therapy is not the answer to most back problems.  For the quick fix, yes it can help.  Certainly in the acute stages of backpain/sciatica it is possibly essential, but to rely on anti-inflammatory drugs in the long term is definitely a bad idea.


 Osteo-arthritis can cause back pain…u-have-to-suffer ‎

Your Doctor would no doubt prescribe NSAIDs (NON-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug) Long term use of NSAIDs can cause irritation of the stomach and intestines . Inflammation of the intestines can lead to unsuitable material entering the blood stream.  This can lead to reaction and in some cases lead to more irritation in the joints. A vicious Cycle!   REF


 Osteopathic Diagnosis would establish the immediate cause and the underlying causes. In many cases some gentle manipulation, articulation and soft tissue massage will afford relief and then the underlying problems can be addressed so the pain doesn’t return. Why I suggest the Acupuncture is because often the situation doesn’t allow for manipulation.  Either the pain is too severe or the sufferer is too frail and in that case strategically placed needles can give relief, which is why I often administer the two together.

 Of course you have to be selective because no two practitioners work in the same way so it is a good idea to get a referral.

 Immediate Cause and Underlying causes

For example:- an immediate cause could be lifting something heavy or awkward where the underlying cause could be poor muscle tone because of deficiencies or faulty nutrition. Not only do we want to be rid of the symptoms (pain), but we want to be able to identify the factors that could cause a recurrence.

Taking pain killers is likened to seeing a red warning light on the dashboard and sticking a tape over it. That may solve the annoyance of the warning light, but could result in a blown engine!

 Remember the old saying “ A stitch in time saves nine”? This is very apt when considering back pain. A simple correction at the early stages of a problem will save you years of agony later. Check out your local practitioners.

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Low Back Pain Causes

 Low Back Pain Causes

Let us consider some of the causes of low back pain:

Degeneration of the lumbar spine.

The most common form of degeneration is osteoarthritis.

While there are other forms of arthritis it is osteoarthritis that’s most often encountered.

You will hear this condition referred to as “wear and tear” and the sufferer is often shocked to hear that this is actually osteoarthritis. Continue reading Low Back Pain Causes


Sketch Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain


I’m going to presume in this case that we are dealing with pain in the lumbar area, which often manifests more on one side than the other, or may switch from side to side or can be felt diffusely all across the low back and into the buttock and hip area.

Take Care

If you have suddenly become aware of numbness between the legs (The saddle area} or a dramatic change in bowel movement or bladder function. You should seek urgent medical attention.

Also I am presuming that serious pathology has been ruled out such as cancer or osteoporosis etc. and that you are in reasonably good health otherwise.

Swelling and Inflammation

The underlying cause will be inflammation and swelling of the soft tissues in the area. It will be a matter of degree from slight swelling and nerve root irritation up to herniation of the vertebral disc’

What is going on?.


Strategies for getting relief from back pain