It's no surprise that back pain is the second most common reason people seek medical attention, and the #1 reason people go for acupuncture.  Back pain is something about 80% of us seek treatment for at some point in our lives.  Often more than once, since one instance of back pain is a predictor of future instances. "Chronic" is, unfortunately, a word that often precedes references to back pain.

The immediate causes of back pain are numerous and diverse, physical and psychological,  and are all-too-familiar.  Underlying them all are two factors related to the way we are built.


We are bipeds. We stand erect and move around on two feet, with our spines vertical. We use our arms to manipulate and carry all kinds of things, including our young.  We flex, extend, rotate, and move in three dimensions. All this puts tremendous mechanical stresses on the human spinal column and on the musculature and soft tissues that support it.  And with that, the blood supply to the disks, the essential cushions between the vertebrae, is poor and declines with age. This makes spontaneous healing of injured disks nearly impossible.  

So, back pain is as old as humanity. It’s practically built into our life stories from the get-go.  This is no doubt what long ago attracted the attention of pioneering acupuncturists and partly explains why relief of back pain is so widely recognized as one of acupuncture's signal achievements.

The frequency and duration of acupuncture treatment for back pain vary from case to case due to the specific causes, how long the condition has been present,  and the individual patient's responsiveness. Many patients get significant relief with 1 – 3 weekly treatments of 45-60 minutes' duration.  The frequency of treatments can be reduced as pain levels come down.  Each patient is unique. Some must consider the prospect of longer-term treatment, others achieve stable, lasting relief in a relatively short period of time. We use a combination of Acupuncture, Acupuncture with E-stim or a tens unit, as well as cupping therapy.
Anyone troubled or limited by back pain ought to consider the acupuncture option, after consulting with his or her physician.

The American College of Physicians, supported by research,  advises doctors to consider acupuncture for lower back pain when nothing else works. It’s a low-cost, low-risk treatment option with a great track record of success, so perhaps it should be considered as a conservative first treatment option rather than as a last resort.

There are also excellent Chinese herbs for pain and bruises & injuries including Dit Da Jow or “Bruise & Injury” topical liniment and “Injury” formula. There are even effective sports enhancement herbs for boosting sports performance and recovery. Herbs include Gu Sui Bu, San Qi Notoginseng and Ru Xiang. These herbs are known to help move & build blood, break up stagnation, generate red blood cells, deliver oxygen to cells, eliminate toxins, reduce swelling, relieve pain and generate tissue.

Robert Youngs is a Los Angeles Acupuncturist with several techniques for treating back pain. If you have back pain schedule an appointment today.