Back Pain / Sciatica and Acupuncture
According to the NHS, back pain is the largest cause of
work-related absence in the UK. BUPA estimates that 8 out
of 10 people experience the problem at some point. The
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
(NICE) guidelines on best practice now recommend that GPs
offer a course of ten sessions of acupuncture as a first
line treatment for persistent low back pain.
Traditional Chinese Medicine views any type of pain as
being caused by a lack of movement of blood, energy, or
body fluids. In the case of acute back pain there is
usually stagnation in the flow of blood and energy
circulation in the back muscles. This causes the muscles
to become knotted or go into spasm, resulting in pain.
Tuina Massage and acupuncture can help restore circulation
to muscles, release muscle tension, and relieve pain.
Acupuncture can help relieve back pain and sciatica by:
Stimulating nerves located in muscles
and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins
and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal
cord (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008).
Reducing inflammation, by promoting
release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi
2007, Zijlstra 2003).
Improving muscle stiffness and joint
mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori
2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.
Causing a transient change in sciatic
nerve blood flow, including circulation to the cauda
equine and nerve root. (Inoue 2008).
Increasing levels of serotonin and
noradrenaline, which can help reduce pain and speed nerve
repair (Wang 2005).
Improving the conductive parameters of
the sciatic nerve (Zhang 2005).
Promoting regeneration of the sciatic
nerve (La 2005)
Influencing the neurotrophic factor
signalling system, which is important in neuropathic pain