Acupuncture-Despite having a large number of conventional treatments, patients suffering from low back pain are often unhappy with the results from these treatments. When these conventional treatments do not work, patients with low back pain turn to alternative and unconventional therapies.
Within the physiotherapy treatment, the application of acupuncture allows reducing and even suppressing pain. It shortens the symptomatic period and improves the patient’s quality of life.
What is acupuncture?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, the vital activity is supported by a “blow” or energy called Qi. This energy of the body transmits through channels (meridians).
Treatment with this technique relies on the theory that the pathology is due to an imbalance in the flow of energy or Qi.
About the procedure
The metallic needles are inserted in special points of the skin, which correspond to the meridians, through which blood and energy circulate in order to restore that lost balance.
There are 12 main bilateral channels. They are the Yin Yang:
-3 Yin channels of the hand and 3 of the foot.
-3 Yang channels of the hand and 3 of the foot.
The channels and their collaterals present clinical manifestations that serve as a therapeutic orientation and modify the criteria of application on the points. Knowing the topography of the channels is essential when applying the treatment. We systematically analyze them to decide the treatment points.
These meridians offer us 365 acupuncture points. The basic principle to choose the precise point relies on the classical Chinese theory of seeking the rebalancing of the circulation of the channels, by stimulation of those points.
Various modern scientific studies suggest that the main effect of acupuncture is due to the stimulation on acupuncture points since they are in the path of the main nerves of the body.
If an acupuncture point sends your information through the nervous system, the stimulation of nerve fibres should make it possible to identify them on the surface of the skin. The distribution of nerve endings follows a pattern that resembles acupuncture channels and remains in certain areas that overlap with the position of points.
Acupuncture uses needles that are inserted into these points of the body to relieve pain and other therapeutic purposes.
The needles can have different diameters depending on the area that we need to treat. In a normal session, 10 to 12 needles are usually necessary. After insertion, acupuncture manipulation takes place, which consists of reciprocating and rotating movements, until the tissues prevent further rotation. These movements seek to cause the so-called “acupuncture sensation” or Deqi. The incidence of adverse effects and side effects is lower if we compare it to NSAID and opioid drugs.
We can also stimulate acupuncture points with heat, pressure, laser, shock waves and electric currents.
The electric current reinforces the analgesic effects of classical acupuncture. We know this technique as electroacupuncture.