Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Is low back pain and muscle tightness keeping you from enjoying the things you love to do, living the life you want to live? 

Is back pain affecting your sleep, your energy, your ability to work?

If the drugs you are taking or other medical therapies are not working well, and just perpetuating a negative cycle – then try our comprehensive approach; we can help!

Our Treatment Approach for Low Back Pain

Our Edmonton acupuncture clinic uses an integrated approach to treat low back pain that creates a lasting improvement and not just short-term relief. The way we do acupuncture focuses first on resetting and improving the function of the core muscles and sinews.  Acupuncture not only decreases pain, it allows our clients to effectively return to exercise and adopt normal posture and movement patterns that are the foundation of rehabilitation.

 Read details about our approach in treatment 

Low back pain is one of the most common causes of missed work days and visits to the doctor. It can interfere quite dramatically with quality of life and the ability to go about the regular things in your day. If you are experiencing back pain that is affecting your quality of life, you have come to the right place! It is one of the conditions that we treat most frequently at our clinic and with good success.

Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain

Back pain commonly arises from muscle strain or injury in the lumbar region, lumbar vertebral joint or disc issues, sacroiliac joint instability, or irritation of nerve roots coming from the lower spine.  Most episodes of low back pain last a short period of time, a few weeks to a month. Most acute back pain usually goes away without causing any lasting problems.  Chronic low back pain, coming and going or lasting than 2-3 months, usually persists despite treatment with medications. 

Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome

Sciatica is a common type of pain that arises from an impingement or irritation of nerves off the lower back that join to form the sciatic nerve.   Piriformis syndrome is a particular type of sciatica where the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region clamps down on the sciatic nerve itself.  Sciatic pain, almost always on one leg or the other, can be an aching or shooting pain down the leg, numbness, or burning sensations.  These sensations can radiate from the lower back, through the buttock, and down the back or side of either leg, sometimes all the way to the foot. Although acupuncture can address leg pain directly, most of the focus of our treatments is indirect by addressing the low back issues where the sciatica pain originates from.

Read our blog about causes of Low Back Pain and Sciatica

Acupuncture is a Good Alternative to Pain Medications:

New research indicates that the use of anti-inflammatory medications may actually delay healing of acute low back pain, and could be associated with an increased risk of developing persistent, chronic pain.

 Read about this research  

Stronger pain drugs such as Oxycontin (an opioid) have limited and short term use for back pain control due to how addictive they can be. Acupuncture is an effective alternative for low back pain control with no harmful side effects.

Research Says Acupuncture Works for Low Back Pain

Acupuncture does not have the negative side effects of medications, and can treat both acute and chronic low back pain. A growing body of research since the 1990s has shown that acupuncture is effective in treating low back pain. According to a summary of acupuncture research studies described on the website of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health there is strong evidence that acupuncture can be used to help relieve low back pain with lasting results.

 Read NCCIH’s Research Literature Summary 

How Many Sessions Do I Need

The number of acupuncture sessions needed to see improvement and lasting freedom from pain varies with the individual. Acupuncture works cumulatively, that is, each session builds on the previous one. Generally speaking, a minimum of three treatments is needed in order to create a positive momentum of core stability and function for the back.  Acute pain and recent injuries tend to respond more quickly to treatment, whereas chronic pain conditions that have been persistent for months or years typically take longer.

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