Back Pain

Low Back Pain Treatment

Low back pain can be do to many different causes, some acute and some chronic, some serious life threatening while others mild muscle aches and sprains.  Lower Back pain includes any pain, aching, discomfort or weakness in one or both sides of the lower thoracic, lumbar, sacral or buttock areas. Lower back ache effects up to 80% of the population at one or more times of their lives.  If there is no type of trauma leading up to lower back pain care must be taken that it is not a severe internal disorder that needs immediate attention such as kidney stones.  


Acupuncture for Lower Back Pain

Acupuncture has been used to treat and cure low back pain for thousands of years.  It can treat both acute and chronic back pain conditions by promoting circulation and correcting soft tissue problems.  When acupuncture is applied by a knowledgable acupuncturist relief can often be felt after even 1 treatment.  The important issue is to find a qualified acupuncturist with experience treating these conditions. 

Acupuncture Points Used For Low Back Pain:

Acute Low Back Pain Liver 3, LI 4, DU 26, Yao Tong Xue (N-UE9), BL 40

Chronic Low Back Pain Bl 60, Bl 58, Bl 59, Bl 36, BL 37,GB 30, GB 31, GB 34, GB 39, SI 3 BL 62

Ah Shi Points, Bl 23, Bl 25, Bl 54, Bl 28, Shi Qi Zhui Xia (M-BW-25), Hua Tuo Jia Ji points


Back Pain and Chinese Medicine:

Low back pain can have many different causes in traditional chinese medicine.  By reading the different types of conditions below you will have an idea of the different types and how they differ from each other.  


Low Back Pain from Cold Dampness

Low back pain starts after exposure to cold and damp environmental factors. Low back feels cold when touched, achy and heavy feeling, pain feels deep and unremitting. This pattern of pain generally gets worse and is aggravated by cloudy, wet or cold days and does not improve with rest or laying down.

Treatment Principle: expel cold and damp, warm and open the channels and support the kidneys

Herbal Formulas: Gan Jiang Ling Zhu Tang & Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang

Acupuncture: Use Moxa and warm needle technique

Low Back Pain from Damp Heat

Low back pain starts with the invasion of damp heat through the tai yang channel or chronic cold damp which stagnation and turns into heat. The lower back pain will feel sore and hot when touched. The effected are will be red and swollen and the pain is aggravated during hot, humid or rainy weather. General symptoms of the patient may also include feverishness, irritability and thirst

Treatment Principle: Clear heat and dry dampness, ease the tendons and stop lower back pain

Herbal Formulas: Jia Wei Er Miao San

Acupuncture: Add points kidney 7 and GB 34 to mentioned points.


Low Back Pain from Wind Dampness

Acute lower back pain with heaviness, achiness, stiffness and pain is unrelieved by changing position or stretching. The general symptoms of the patient will be heaviness, headaches, mild fever, chills, possible superficial oedema and a floating pulse.

Treatment Principle: Expel wind and dry dampness to stop lower back pain

Herbal Formulas: Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang

Acupuncture: Add Points - Lu 6, Li 4, Sp 9, Ren 12, St 36

Low Back Pain from Wind Cold

Acute low back pain not relieved by changing position or stretching with general patient symptoms of a high fever, chills, shivering, myalgia, stiff neck, occipital headache, no sweating, slight cough, nasal obstruction or runny nose, sneezing with a floating and soggy pulse.

Treatment Principle: Disperse wind cold and alleviate low back pain

Herbal Formulas: Jing Fang Bai Du San

Acupuncture: Add points - Li 4, Lu 7, GB 20, BL 12 ,BL 13,

use cupping on ah shi points on lower back.


Low Back Pain from Wind Heat

Acute lower back ache accompanied by lower back heat sensations unrelieved by changing positions or stretching. General patient symptoms include fever, mild sweat, dry mouth, thirsty, sore throat, red tongue tip and a floating rapid pulse.

Treatment Principle: Expel wind heat and alleviate low back pain

Herbal Formulas: Xiao Chai Hu Tang

Acupuncture: Du 14, BL 12, LI 11, LI 4, SJ 5, copping on ah shi points on lower back


Low Back Pain from Blood Stasis

Common type of low back pain post traumatic injury such as lifting a heavy object or twisting and bending improperly. The pain is usually sharp in quality and quite severe which is aggravated by pressure or palpation.

Treatment Principle: Invigorate blood circulation and regulate qi to stop lower back pain

Herbal Formulas: Huo Luo Xiao Ling Dan

Acupuncture: Add points - BL 17, LI 4, SP 10, SP 6

Low Back Pain from Qi Stagnation

This pattern usually has hypertonicity of the muscles (tense, spasm) and usually occours in individuals under high stress or emotional patients. The lower back pain tends to be aggravated by stress and emotional upsets and often radiates from the lower back to the lower abdomen or hypochondriac regions. The pain may have a distending quality which may move from place to place or come and go. General symptoms include irritability, headaches, digestive upset, chest fullness and possible menstrual disorders. The pulse will generally be wiry and thready while the tongue will be darkish in color with red edges and a thin coat.

Treatment Principle: Regulate liver qi and stop lower back pain

Herbal Formulas: Tian Tai Wu Yao San

Acupuncture: Add points Liv 3, LI 4, GB 34, PC 6

Low Back Pain from Spleen Qi Deficiency and Dampness

This pattern usually has hypotonicity of the muscles (weak, emaciated) with a loss of mechanical support and hypermobility of the lumbar spine. This pattern generally gives rise to aching and heaviness of the lower back region which may be flabby while the patients will be commonly overweight. They may also have some degree of digestive weakness or fluid retention with a pale, swollen tongue and a slippery soft pulse.

Treatment Principle: Strengthen spleen and eliminate dampness to alleviate lower back pain

Herbal Formulas:

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang

Ping Wei San - excessive dampness

Fang Ji Huang Qi Tang - easily sweating, mild dampness, knee swelling and painful

Shi Pi Yin - spleen yang deficiency with pitting edema

Acupuncture: Add points - SP 3, ST 40, ST 36, BL 20


Low Back Pain from Kidney Deficiency

The kidneys have a powerful influence over the tissues of the lower back therefore if the kidneys are weak and qi and blood are sluggish then the lower back is easily effected. Kidney Deficiency will give rise to a chronic lower back ache or low back pain with soreness and weakness which is improved by massage and general rest. The pain will be recurring and is aggravated after exertion, prolonged standing or sexual activity. The knees and legs are commonly sore or weak as well in kidney patterns.

Acupuncture Add points - BL 23, BL 25, Du 4, BL 52, REN 4, REN 6, KD 3, BL 60, Hua Tuo Jia Ji Use moxa for kidney yang deficiency.

Low Back Pain from Kidney Yang Deficiency 

Kidney deficiency with - clear copious urination, nocturia, pale lustreless complexion, edema of lower extremities, sore knees, generally cold, dislike of cold, wet swollen tongue and a slow pulse.

Treatment Principle: Support and strengthen the lower back and tonify the kidneys and support the kidney yang.

Herbal Formula: You Gui Wan


Low Back Pain from Kidney Yin Deficiency

Kidney deficiency with - intolerance of heat, occasional urinary irritation, tinnitus, dizziness, facial flushing, nightsweats, sensation of heat in the palms and soles and chest, red tongue with no coat and a thready rapid pulse.

Treatment Principle: Tonify kidneys and nourish kidney yin to strengthen and support lower back

Herbal Formulas: Zuo Gui Wan



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