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Lower Back Pain Treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

Lower back pain (LBP) or lumbago is a condition that affects 80-85% of individuals at least once during their lifetime. Lumbago is defined as nonspecific lower back pain or discomfort located in the lumbar region of the spine, an area located between the twelfth rib and iliac crest of the back. It can be further characterised as acute or chronic. The pain and discomfort may be on one or both sides, mild or severe; sharp or dull; achy or stiff; occasional or constant, and may radiate down the glutes and legs.

The Causes of Lower Back Pain According to Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Stagnation of Qi and Blood – this is caused by contusions, sprains or other trauma to the lumbar region leading to meridian Qi and Blood stasis.
  • Exposure to Cold-Damp – this refers to environmental exposure to cold and damp places or living conditions, over a pro-long period of time, leading to an accumulation of these qualities with the body. The result is a blockage or impaired circulation of qi and blood through the meridians from pathogenic cold-damp.
  • Exposure to Heat-Damp – this occurs from environmental exposure to damp-heat or the accumulation of heat-damp internally, causing blockage of the meridians.
  • Poor Diet – often consisting of raw, sweet and fatty foods, cold foods, which increase the damp quality of the body.

According to Chinese Medicine, Lower Back Pain Can Be Differentiated Into Four Syndromes:

  • Stagnation of Qi and Blood – back pain is sharp, and fixed.
  • Cold-dampness lumbago – lower back pain, sensation of cold or heaviness, alleviated by warmth; gradually worsen, difficulty rotating, pain no alleviated by lying downDamp-heat
  • Lumbago – lower back pain feels hot, redness, with swelling, make worse by rainy, or hot days, alleviated by exercise or cold.
  • Damp-heat Lumbago – lower back pain feels hot, redness, with swelling, make worse by rainy, or hot days, alleviated by exercise or cold.
  • Kidney Deficiency – lower back pain is sore, feels weak, Yang and deficient heat symptoms

Treatment of Lower Back Pain With Acupuncture

Western medical treatment of lower back pain often involve taking anti-inflammatory medication; bed rest; cold or hot pack to the sore area; physiotherapy exercises, osteotherapy, chiropractic adjustments. Chinese medicine treatment involves acupuncture, cupping and may include taking Chinese herbal medicines.

Acupuncture can alleviate the symptoms by:

  • Significantly reducing the pain
  • Promote the healing process
  • Relax muscles of the lower back thus increase the range of motion
  • Reduce the need for medication
  • Improve the quality of life

At Sustain Health, our team of Chinese medicine practitioners are highly qualified to treat and manage your lower back pain conditions or any other pain management issue you have, feel free to contact us.

Written by

Dr Scott Ling
Dr. Scott Ling is the Chief Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturist and the founder of Sustain Health. He holds a PHD Doctorate Degree in Chinese medicine from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. Dr Ling’s extensive qualifications also include a Master of Reproductive Medicine (western medicine). Due to his unique medical background, Dr Ling’s approach stresses on the integration of Chinese and Western medicine to ensure patients get the greatest benefits from the best of both medical systems.

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