While disc related pain can be both severe and debilitating, it usually does not require surgery. Western medicine is well-equipped to address this pain with both medications (prednisone) and injections into the joint space around the spine (epidural) as warranted.
Acupuncture, while not as strong as the above interventions, can be an effective tool for addressing pain relating to issues of the spinal nerves and discs themselves.
You should consider acupuncture in the following situations:
- You prefer not to take steroids or undergo an epidural injection
- Steroids or injections have not sufficiently addressed your issue
- You are looking for an intervention in lieu of surgery
- You are looking to prevent/maintain back health using natural methods
Common issues affecting the spine include:
- Disc impingement
- Disc prolapse
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Foraminal Stenosis
- Central Canal Stenosis
How Acupuncture Treats Spine & Disc Issues
- Acupuncture works on multiple levels to address pain
- Improves circulation to the site of injury
- Regulates nerve pain signals
- Relieves muscle spasms
- Generates an endorphin response
A Chinese Medical Perspective
Chronic back pain would be considered a kidney qi weakness. This is a foreign concept to most Westerners as the kidney is viewed for its role in electrolyte imbalance, urine production, and detoxification. In Chinese Medicine, the kidney has many roles including bone marrow production (hematopoietic stem cell production) and by extension its role in creating both blood cells and the bones. Because the kidneys reside in the low back, issues in this area are rightly assigned to the kidney. However, just because a person has back pain does not mean they have an issue with their kidney.