Acupuncture is generally known in the West as an amazing treatment for relieving or eliminating back pain. Even patients with chronic pain find relief from acupuncture. An article in The Independent reports on a study which shows how effective acupuncture is at treating serious back pain. However, patients seek pain relief for many other conditions as well. If you are in chronic or acute pain, call us to discuss how we can help.
How does Acuncture treat back pain?
People often ask how acupuncture treats pain. Although recent research is beginning to show that acupuncture creates actual change in brain chemistry, there are currently five main theories suggested by the Western medical community:
1. The 'Augmentation Theory': Acupuncture raises levels of triglycerides, specific hormones, prostaglandins, white blood counts, gamma globulins, opsonins, and overall anti-body levels. This is why acupuncture can treat disorders relating to immune deficiencies. Example: Pain that is a result of emotional stress, hormone imbalance or auto-immune diseases is easily treated with acupuncture.
2. The 'Endorphin Theory': Acupuncture stimulates the secretions of endorphins in the body (specifically enkephalins). Endorphins are our body’s natural pain killers. They are 1000 times stronger than morphine. This is how acupuncture can provide immediate pain reduction. Example: Tan style acupuncture, using imaging, provides pain relief within seconds of the needle being placed.
3. The 'Neurotransmitter Theory': Certain neurotransmitter levels (such as serotonin and noradrenaline) are affected by acupuncture. This is why acupuncture is so successful with depression and mood disorders. This is also the reason people feel so amazing after a treatment. Example: Weight loss treatments consider low serotonin levels that may be causing sugar cravings.
4. The 'Circulatory Theory': Acupuncture has the effect of constricting or dilating blood vessels. This may be caused by the body’s release of vasodilaters (such as histamine), in response to acupuncture. Example: using acupuncture to treat edema and chronic injuries by releasing a fresh supply of RBCs and WBCs into areas of scar tissue build up and blockage.
5. The 'Gate Control Theory': Highly researched among western scientists. According to this theory, pain signals must pass through a number of high-traffic “gates” as they move from the area of injury upward through the spinal cord into the brain. Like a road or highway, these nerves can handle only a limited number of nerve signals at one time. Acupuncture generates competing stimulus and interrupts the neurotransmission of the pain signals, preventing them from reaching the brain. Example: the use of acupuncture anaesthesia.
Each of these theories examines acupuncture from a different perspective, and helps to illustrate why acupuncture is effective at treating many different types of pain, whether acute or chronic.
Call us now on 01895 622288 to discuss how acupuncture can help with your back pain.