Herniated Disc? Acupuncture reduces pain more than most medications
Lauren Ho practices acupuncture and oriental medicine at Reconstructed Wellness. She finds acupuncture helpful for many complaints but particularly enjoys helping patients recover from injuries or pain conditions. Lauren, as well as the rest of our team, find integrative therapies including acupuncture more helpful for pain than most medications. Here is a blog post she wrote explaining how acupuncture helps reduce pain due to disc herniation.
Back pain- everyone experiences it from time to time, and for some it seems to become a fact of life. At its worst, back pain can be intolerable and debilitating, leading many to become dependent on drugs and even consider spinal surgery. Luckily though, science has begun to prove what many have known for thousands of years; back pain is not only alleviated by acupuncture, but in many instances it surpasses the results obtained from traditionally prescribed drugs or manual therapies.
A meta-analysis was published this year (2018) that reviewed 30 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving over 3500 participants which compared different treatment methods of lumbar disk herniations (LDHs). The results showed that acupuncture was more effective than lumbar traction, over the counter and prescribed NSAIDs, and prescribed steroidal treatments in the treatment of LDHs.
Acupuncture has also been scientifically shown to be so effective for some patients’ lower back pain that the likelihood of them ever needing or opting for surgery is statistically less than those who only utilize traditional methods. There are even cases of patients cancelling their scheduled back surgeries after trying acupuncture as a last ditch effort.
There is a reason why so many insurance companies are now covering acupuncture services especially for conditions of back pain. It is a very effective treatment that can minimize or eliminate the need for long term use of costly medications, or even worse, surgical interventions- both of which come with risks and side effects attached.
1. Acupunct Med. 2018 Apr;36(2):62-70. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011332. Epub 2018 Mar 1
2. Koh W, Kang K, Lee YJ, et al. Impact of acupuncture treatment on the lumbar surgery rate for low back pain in Korea: A nationwide matched retrospective cohort study. PLoS One. 2018;13(6):e0199042. Published 2018 Jun 12. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199042