An effective treatment for battling low back pain

05 Apr An effective treatment for battling low back pain

By Dr. Michael Yarish, ND

Back pain is one of the most common ailments that affect a majority of the population.  In fact, it has been estimated that up to 80% of the world’s population will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, with the lower back as the most common location of pain.

The use of acupuncture to treat this condition has increased dramatically based in a large extent to placebo-controlled studies that have validated it as a reliable method of pain relief.

The results of a study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain provide further proof that acupuncture is a safe and effective procedure for low back pain that maintains positive outcomes for periods of six months or longer without producing negative side effects that often accompany more traditional pain remedies.

Researchers in Sweden recruited 50 patients from a pain clinic for their study.   Each patient had been suffering chronic low back pain for a minimum of six months and had tried a variety of other therapies (such as pain killers, nerve blocks, physiotherapy) to treat their condition.

Analysis of results revealed significant differences between acupuncture and placebo patients at the one-, three- and six-month intervals following treatment, all of which favoured acupuncture as a more effective form of pain relief.  Furthermore, activity levels were also markedly improved and total intake of pain killers dropped dramatically in the acupuncture group, but not the placebo group.

In a similar study, German researchers looked at 1,162 patients who had experienced chronic low back pain for an average of eight years.  Their study found that almost half the patients treated with acupuncture felt relief after six months of treatment.   Those reporting relief from the acupuncture said the effects lasted long after they completed their treatment.  The authors conclude that underlying mechanisms are inherent in acupuncture that help block pain signals or the processing of those signals.

At The Lakeside Clinic, we combine acupuncture with herbal medicine, clinical nutrition and homeopathic injections to relieve pain quickly and effectively.  These methods can also be used to relieve pain in other joints or muscle groups as well as arthritis, headaches and fibromyalgia.

Carlsson C, Sjolund B.  Acupuncture for chronic low back pain: a randomized placebo-controlled study with long-term follow-up. Clinical Journal of Pain 2001;17(4):296-305.

Haake M., et al.  German Acupuncture Trials for Chronic Low Back Pain

Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(17):1892-1898.