Low back pain relief Mornington

Low Back Pain

In this meta analysis the team looked into real acupuncture, sham acupuncture and a no acupuncture control group within randomised control trials. They found that acupuncture was effective in treating low back pain and was more effective than the sham and no acupuncture options. It was therefore deemed a viable referral option.

Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al.; Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data metaanalysis. Arch Intern Med

 

About Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a general name for any condition that is causing pain and pressure in the lower back including the lumber and sacral spine. These conditions can vary in the cause of muscular, skeletal, nerve pain, even skin and internal organs causing referred pain in the area.

In Australia it is common to suffer from some form of back pain in our lives, in fact, it is estimated that 70% to 90% of Australians will suffer from some sort of back pain, including low back pain, at some point. In 2014-2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Health survey showed that 16% of the population had current back problems and or pain. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017) This would indicate that low and back pain is in fact the most common cause of pain, both acute and chronic, in Australia.

The symptoms of low back pain can vary from person to person. The pain can be a constant dull ache, to a sharp stab that comes and goes, to a burning sensation and more, all dependant on the underlying cause of the pain. Most often it is reported by patients that the pain, no matter what it feels like, affects the quality of a patients life in a negative manner. Sleep can be disrupted as a comfortable spot cannot be found in bed, waking in the morning can cause more pain due to stiffness of muscles that haven’t been used over night. Low Back Pain can cause a range of movement issues meaning that children and other objects cannot be picked up, regular duties such as driving, cleaning and even walking or sitting for periods of time can lead to more pain. Due to this, each case is individual based on where the pain is originating, what the pain feels like, and what diminishes or exacerbates the pain.

In Western Medicine the condition of low back pain is diagnosed whenever a patient presents complaining of any type of pain in the lumbar and or sacral spine. This can be when the condition has an obvious structural problem or injury associated with it that clearly shows why there would be pain in the area or the diagnosis can be given when the cause is as yet unknown but the patient is complaining of consistent or transitory pain in the area. This is called non specific low back pain and may not have a specific pathology attached. The pathology of specific low back pain depends on the underlying condition or injury for example a bulging disk or sciatica.

Due to the issue of low back pain not always having a defined pathology, often the only treatment option left for Western Medicine is pain medications and anti Inflammatories of various strengths. Surgery can be an option if there is a structural issue that needs to be corrected however in many cases referrals to other modalities needs to be arranged. This could be Acupuncture, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic and more. Pain Medications can have side effects so it is important to discuss what they could potentially be with your health care professional. It is also important to continue to discuss care with your health care professional so that when the pain medication is not longer needed, ending it can be managed in the correct manner.

Acupuncture and Low Back Pain

For Chinese Medicine, Low Back Pain can be a different issue for each individual steaming from many different causes. As Chinese Medicine looks at the body as a whole system; physical, emotional and spiritual, low back pain can be a symptom of one two or all areas of a persons life being out of balance. Like Western Medicine there can be a clear cut reason such as an injury that can be seen as the cause of the pain, however unlike Western Medicine, when there is not clear reason for the pain, Chinese Medicine will ask questions from all aspects of a patients life to find one. Eventually, a Pattern of Disharmony individual to each patient will be discovered and a treatment plan will be decided upon. No one part of the body works in isolation from the rest, therefore a patient will be treated in many different areas of the body and aspects of their lives, improving overall health as well as the main complaint of low back pain.

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain Research

In the last few years research into how Acupuncture affects pain in the low back has had favourable outcomes.

Listed below are some of those studies:

  • In this meta analysis the team looked into real acupuncture, sham acupuncture and a no acupuncture control group within randomised control trials. They found that acupuncture was effective in treating low back pain and was more effective than the sham and no acupuncture options. It was therefore deemed a viable referral option.

Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al.; Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data metaanalysis. Arch Intern Med

  • This randomised trial looked at Acupuncture along with stimulated acupuncture and usual care for low back pain in 638 patients. It found that 60% of the acupuncture and stimulated acupuncture patients had clinically meaningful improvements with compared to 39% of the usual care patents.

Cherkin, D. C., Sherman, K. J., Avins, A. L., Erro, J. H., Ichikawa, L., Barlow, W. E., … Deyo, R. A. (2009). A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and                Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine

  • In this systematic review and meta analysis 75 different trials we analysed and it was found that acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture is reducing the pain of low back pain immediately after a treatment, including Chronic Low Back Pain.

Yuan QL, Guo TM, Liu L, Sun F, Zhang YG. Traditional Chinese medicine for neck pain and low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One

Low Back Pain Mornington

What’s involved in an acupuncture session?

Initial Acupuncture sessions are around an hour long with a discussion about the condition specifics including what helps or makes the pain worse as well as other areas of diet and lifestyle to gain an understanding of how each individual patients body works. Once the practitioner has sufficient information to formulate a Pattern of Disharmony, which is Chinese Medicines way of diagnosing, the Acupuncture needles will be inserted into the skin. The patient may be face up or down on the massage table which changes with each condition. With low back pain conditions, needles will be put into the area of the pain along with other ‘points’ on the legs arms and sometimes head. Once the needles are in, the patient will be left on the table for rest for around 20 minutes with dimmed lighting and relaxing music. After the time ends, the practitioner will return to the room to remove the needles and discuss how you are feeling after the treatment. Subsequent weekly treatments are shorter at around 30 to 40 minutes as a discussion at the beginning is more of a catch up however needles will always be in for around 20 minutes.

Chinese medicine modalities that may be used in a session

In some cases, additional tools may be used in a low back pain condition along with liniments and electro Acupuncture. Electro involves attaching small clips linked to a TENS machine by cords to certain needles after they are inserted into the skin. The machine is then turned up until a buzzing feeling can be felt by the patient at the site of the connected needles. This works deeper into the muscle to help relieve pain. Once the needles are all removed at the end of the treatment, different liniments, dependant on the cause of the pain, may be applied to the area also. Many feel much like a ‘Deep Heat’ would with a cool feeling in the area as they dry. This will be discussed with you before application of the liniment at the time of the appointment.

Claiming health funds for acupuncture

At Mornington Chinese Medicine we offer a Hicaps terminal meaning rebates can be paid at the time of appointment and only the gap payment is your out of pocket expense. If you have Private Health Insurance with Extras it is best to check to see if you are covered with Acupuncture to be sure you receive a rebate. Please note that Hicaps is only available for Acupuncture treatments and that any Herbs or supplements will be at full cost.

Make sure you have eaten something on the day of an Acupuncture treatment and bring along any information you currently have pertaining to the condition. This can include blood tests and scans performed on the issue along with any Western Medical diagnosis.

Booking your acupuncture appointment

Lauren is available for consultation at Mornington Chinese Medicine on Wednesday and Thursday.

To book your appointment please call today on (03) 5973 6886.

References

  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2017). Back Problems: What are Back Problems. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/arthritis-other-musculoskeletal-conditions/back-problems/what-are-back-problems
  • Cherkin, D. C., Sherman, K. J., Avins, A. L., Erro, J. H., Ichikawa, L., Barlow, W. E., … Deyo, R. A. (2009). A Randomized Trial Comparing Acupuncture, Simulated Acupuncture, and Usual Care for Chronic Low Back Pain. Archives of Internal Medicine169(9), 858– http://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2009.65
  • Move, Muscle, Bone and Joint Health. (2017). Back Pain: Understanding Your Condition. Retrieved from https://www.move.org.au/page/back-pain?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIy5rF8J382QIVTSUrCh3Jzg-kEAAYASAAEgLrKvD_BwE
  • Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al.; Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data metaanalysis. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(19):1444-1453.
  • Yuan QL, Guo TM, Liu L, Sun F, Zhang YG. Traditional Chinese medicine for neck pain and low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2015;10(2):e0117146.
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