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Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for people seeking physiotherapy treatment. Most of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives, whether it be relating to a lifting injury, a sports injury, pregnancy, or as part of the ageing process.

At times, the pain can be really quite debilitating. Effective pain management, especially in the early stages of pain occurring, can have a huge impact on how the condition progresses, sometimes for the long term. Acupuncture is one means of pain relief that can be effective in managing the symptoms of low back pain.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves having a series of fine needles inserted into various ‘points’ in the body. The treatment has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been in existence for thousands of years. In TCM, acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of ailments, however the majority of physiotherapists (including the team here at The Physios), practice ‘Western Acupuncture’ and use it to primarily treat pain.

You can read more about how acupuncture works and the difference between Western Acupuncture and TCM here.

What’s causing my low back pain?

We are all more than likely to experience an episode of back pain at some point in our lives. Low back pain can occur for numerous reasons, for example:

  • Lifting injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Age related conditions such as spondylosis or stenosis
  • Disc prolapses (‘slipped disc’)
  • Chronic pain
  • Posture/muscular imbalances

You may experience back pain in isolation, or it may be accompanied by symptoms of sciatica. Whatever the cause, where pain is a symptom, acupuncture can be an effective means of pain relief.

Is acupuncture suitable for everyone?

There are a few health conditions for which acupuncture is contraindicated, i.e. not at all appropriate. We rarely encounter these conditions in a musculoskeletal clinic, so there are very few people for whom it is not an option. It’s worth noting that it is not suitable for anyone who has a needle phobia or is very anxious at the thought of acupuncture. Other conditions such as diabetes, being prescribed blood thinning medications and pregnancy are conditions we need to be aware of, but we can proceed with caution.

Sounds great! How do I book in?

We don’t offer appointments for acupuncture as a stand alone treatment, it will always be in conjunction with exercise, advice and ‘hands on treatment’ (where appropriate), so you will need to book an initial consultation with one of our physiotherapists first. Tell your physiotherapist that you are interested in receiving acupuncture as part of your treatment and they will discuss this further with you at the time.

Want further information?

If you require any additional information, you may find the following blog posts helpful:

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.