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Alleviate Lower-Back Pain with Acupuncture
By Robert Keller, CA
Q. Recently my low-back pain has gotten worse. The X-rays and an MRI show some arthritis and a bulging disc. Is there anything I can do?
Spinal abnormalities typically scare and confuse people, because they seem so solid and permanent. Disc problems and arthritis are indeed slow to change, but they are also generally slow to develop. This means that while you are busy correcting them, you can deal more quickly with other factors that likely contribute to your pain.
From an acupuncture perspective, low-back pain typically involves the bladder and gallbladder channels, depletion of kidney function, and stagnation of liver function. This all happens when you become physically or mentally overworked and stressed. These imbalances, in turn, can leave connective and muscular tissues weak or in spasm, which is what most people feel. Blood circulation can then become impeded, leading to sharp stabbing pains or numbness, along with a diminished capacity to flush lactic acid and other waste products from the area. This makes it harder for the tissues to heal and regenerate.
Pain signals that something is wrong, and it is important to listen to that message. Slow down, rest, and stop doing things that aggravate the condition. The body produces pain and spasm to immobilize and protect the spine, so that it can both continue to function and heal. Pushing through the pain places you at risk for real damage. And never put ice on your spine; it may feel good because it numbs the area, but it also impedes circulation and introduces cold into the channels, making the problem worse.
If your back pain is just starting, get some help before it gets worse. If you already have chronic pain, acupuncture is one of the most effective therapies there is for this condition. Acute pain can often be alleviated within a few treatments, allowing more time to correct the underlying imbalances and pathology. With proper treatment, even the arthritis and bulging discs can heal.
Author: Robert Keller, CA
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