Can acupuncture help relieve your back pain?

acupuncture therapyAcupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that many find intimidating. Today, many unfortunate misconceptions about acupuncture exist. So what is it exactly, and is it something that you should actually consider? If you’re looking for some relief from that chronic pain, you may want to consider acupuncture as an alternative treatment.

Acupuncture explained — The practice of acupuncture is thousands of years old, but in the United States, its popularity has only grown since the early 1970s. The actual practice involves positioning needles with nearly hair-thin diameters through the skin at different depths to alleviate pain in certain muscle groups or nerves. Generally, acupuncture works over time, so you visit a practitioner once or twice a week until you find significant pain relief.

How it works — While ancient beliefs about acupuncture focused on the energy flow of the body, most professionals today believe it is most helpful in stimulating the body’s natural pain-relieving efforts and increasing blood flow. Don’t be surprised if the practitioner inserts needles in places not associated with your acute pain. Though you may be complaining of lower back pain, the associated nerves may be located elsewhere.

Low risk — One of the main benefits is that acupuncture has a low risk. The FDA regulates all needles to make sure they are manufactured and distributed correctly. After one treatment, the needles are discarded to prevent any infection from patient to patient. Those practicing acupuncture must be licensed with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Additionally, some experts believe that any negative effects from acupuncture are “far less” when compared to the possible side effects of medications and other therapies.

Where to find it — Start your search by asking your primary care physician. They may recommend a licensed provider. Look for certified professionals in your area. Ask for recommendations, and only go where you feel comfortable. Also, call your insurance company and ask about coverage for acupuncture. Some providers are starting to cover this type of therapy!

Acupuncture isn’t for everyone, but there is a reason that it has been practiced throughout history — it’s effective for some people. For chronic pain that continues to affect your quality of life, contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information about finding pain relief.

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