How can acupuncture help chronic back pain?

Pain relief and speed healing with acupuncture

If you suffer from chronic low back pain, there is hope for lasting pain-relief! Give our office a call at (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help!

Acupuncture for chronic pain

How can acupuncture help chronic back pain?

With over a billion people worldwide reporting back pain, it is one of the most expensive and exhausting ailments of our time. It is the third most common reason for a visit to the doctors office (behind skin disorders and osteoarthritis joint issues).

How acupuncture helps chronic back pain

Acupuncture has been found to be effective for chronic pain, including low back pain. Not only is acupuncture more clinically effective than no treatment at short-term follow-ups that looked at measures of pain relief and functional improvement acupuncture was actually found to be substantially better than standard care in a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that included around 20,000 patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Acupuncture works in several ways to help reduce pain and inflammation. One way it works is by releasing certain neurotransmitter in the brain to help calm inflammation as well as release natural opioids to help combat pain. Acupuncture has been found to help locally and systemically to reduce muscle spasm, increase nerve functioning, and to help improve function and mobility in joints.  It has been shown that the stimulation with acupuncture needles produces an analgesic effect through the release of endorphins , dopamine, endogenous cannabinoids (some of the body’s natural pain-killers) and anti-inflammatory substances as well as the inhibition of pro-inflammatory factors.

Acupuncture is also safe. In a cumulative review of more than 1 million acupuncture treatments, the risk of a serious adverse event with acupuncture was estimated to be 0.05 per 10,000 treatments and 0.55 per 10,000 individual patients. Most common side effects were minor, and included bleeding at the needle site and localized needling pain.

Do acupuncture treatments last?

The beneficial effects of acupuncture do, in fact. persist beyond the course of treatment. In a meta-analysis of around 18,000 patients with chronic pain, 90% of the pain-relieving effects were maintained at 1 year out.

As far as cost-effectiveness, acupuncture scores again. In one study in Canada, low back pain patients divided into 2 groups (201 patients receiving acupuncture and 804 patients not receiving acupuncture) were evaluated for the number of medical doctor visits required for treatment of their low back pain. The acupuncture patients saw their doctors 49% less after having acupuncture compared with the year prior to having acupuncture. Non-acupuncture patients had a decrease of only 2%. The WHO officially classifies acupuncture as a cost-effective treatment strategy in patients with chronic low back pain, according to their cost-effectiveness threshold values.

Back pain, as many of us have experienced, can be an expensive threat to our quality of life. Depending on the cause and severity of the back pain, acupuncture can be a safe and cost-effective alternative or complementary approach to treatment, providing much needed relief!

If you suffer from chronic low back pain, there is hope for lasting pain-relief! Give our office a call at (425) 686-4498 to learn how we can help!


Acupuncture safety:

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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