Low back pain is a painful condition and is prevalent in the United States. About 80 percent of adults experience it at least once in their lives, and one-quarter of the people in the U.S. have suffered from it in the past few months.
A frequent treatment includes doctors prescribing opioids and other over-the-counter painkillers. Although the painkillers work, they can lead to several side-effects and addiction. The latter is a severe epidemic in the United States, that often starts with a “simple prescription for ailments like back pain,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The high probability of a drug leading to an addition prompted the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February of this year to take action. It advised healthcare providers to apply non-pharmacological therapies to treat low back pain and recommended them to learn alternative therapies, like acupuncture treatment.
What does the FDA’s decision mean for you?
Let’s find out.
We will start with an overview of low back pain to get an idea of how big of a problem it is before moving on to see if science sides with acupuncturists, or is against them.
How Prevalent Low Back Pain Is
Low back pain is one of the primary reasons individuals apply for sick leave and seek emergency visits to healthcare centers. In fact, it is the “most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.”
The high rate of low back pain amongst populations is consistent worldwide. A 2015 study published in a Brazilian journal, Revista de Saúde Pública, estimated that about one in five individuals (19.6 percent) aged between 20 and 59 report chronic low back pain.
Who Is at a Higher Risk?
Although low back pain affects everyone, males aged between 10 and 49 and females aged over 65 are at a higher risk.
What Causes an Ache in Your Low Back
The pain in your low back can appear abruptly as a result of an accident or lifting something heavy. Overweight individuals and individuals who do not exercise are also at risk. Other common causes of low back pain include:
Age. Individuals aged between 30 and 50 report the highest instances of low back pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Spine and disc degeneration
pinched nerve roots
Your spinal column shrinks and compresses the spinal cord
Can Acupuncture Treat Your Low Back Pain?
Informed physicians makers know that it can. The results of several studies bear out the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating low back pain.
2007. The American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians recommend acupuncture to patients with chronic low back pain. The treatment is suggested for individuals who do not respond to home therapies, such as applying heat and taking painkillers.
2008. There is strong evidence that combining acupuncture with your usual care leads to quicker and lasting pain relief.
2010. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality finds that acupuncture provides relief immediately after treatment.
2012. Acupuncture is more effective at treating back and neck pain than simulated (placebo) acupuncture and no acupuncture.
Are There Any Side-Effects?
There are practically no side-effects from acupuncture with a trained acupuncturist. It is easier than you imagine if you are in Petaluma. Just call Frank at Griffo Acupuncture at (707) 762 -7678.
Among Frank’s qualifications: trained with some of the most respected acupuncturists and herbalists in the country, he sat on the California State Acupuncture Board committee for the creation and evaluation of state licensing exam, has taught at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA, at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA, he has worked as an acupuncturist for several hospitals in the bay area, and has been treating back pain for over 12 years. Frank also used to suffer from back pain and knows how debilitating it can be.
You can read more about him at Griffo Acupuncture.
The next time you have an ache in your back, consider consulting an acupuncturist instead of grabbing over-the-counter painkillers. Acupuncture is safe, has practically no side-effects, and is recommended by the FDA.