Acupuncture, a practice that originated in China over 2,500 years ago, has become a popular and well-researched method for managing back pain. It involves inserting fine needles into specific areas – called ‘acupoints’ – on the skin to help alleviate pain and other ailments.

Research suggests that acupuncture may reduce back pain and improve a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. A 2021 systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture for acute lower back pain (LBP). Of the 13 RCTs, 11 gave consistent, high-quality results. There was an association between acupuncture Toowoomba and modest improvements in the following categories: pain intensity, the ability to perform daily self-care, and the number of pills needed to control pain.

Moreover, acupuncture shows promising results for individuals with chronic LBP and may be beneficial as a first-line treatment. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that there is low to moderate quality evidence that acupuncture may be beneficial for chronic LBP and low-quality evidence that it may be beneficial for acute LBP.

Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine based on the belief that the body contains a vital energy called ‘Qi,’ which flows along paths called meridians. Traditional acupuncture practitioners believe that acupuncture can restore the flow of Qi to help improve mental and physical health.

Western practitioners have different theories about how acupuncture alleviates pain. According to a 2018 review, acupuncture causes micro-injuries to the skin, triggering the release of a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which breaks down into adenosine and other chemical compounds. Both ATP and adenosine block pain receptors called purinergic receptors, helping alleviate pain.

While chiropractic treatments are popular for relieving pain, acupuncture offers several advantages. Unlike chiropractic treatments, which primarily focus on the spine and joints, acupuncture can target numerous health concerns at once. It is a flexible form of treatment that can effectively combine with other treatments.

Acupuncture carries a low risk of side effects, making it a safer alternative to chiropractic treatments, which some patients report can cause aching and soreness. Furthermore, acupuncture is a holistic treatment focused on healing the body from the inside out, providing patients with natural pain relief, improved nervous system function, and overall wellbeing.

A promising alternative to chiropractic treatment for back pain, acupuncture’s ability to alleviate pain, improve daily functioning, and offer a holistic approach to health and wellness makes it an attractive option for those seeking relief from back pain.