Double Board Certified: Dipl. NCCAOM Oriental Medicine
Fellow, American Board of Oriental and Reproductive Medicine
Millions of Americans suffer from back pain: over 1 million work days are lost a year due to back pain alone. Another million people a year suffer from neck pain. Anti-inflammatories, painkillers and surgery are the treatments of choice in the West, but they are only band-aids. Oftentimes, they only mask the pain, not cure it. These treatment options also can have side effects, such as liver damage or stomach issues from NSAIDs, addiction to painkillers, or, in the case of surgery, only a 50% success rate.
Sciatica, back and neck issues, or any pain in general, can impair your lifestyle and your ability to work. The worst part is that sciatica, back and neck issues can make you feel like the pain is dictating how you live life. Western doctors are starting to notice that acupuncture is as effective as Western interventions, with fewer side effects, for treating pain. http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20090511/acupuncture- may-ease-chronic- back-pain
The Chinese Medicine Approach to Back/Neck/Sciatic Pain and General Pain
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have excellent results in treating sciatica, back and neck issues.
All pain is NOT the same. While to people may have pain in the same place, the cause of the pain can be completely different. So the root cause of your pain must be diagnosed and treated correctly for true healing.
Running on Empty Pain/Chronic Pain
Pain due to overuse, wherever it is located, is usually deficient pain. Literally, you have used up the available energy. It’s like running your car on empty: after a while, the car just stops working because there isn’t any more gas. Deficient pain responds well to heat and massage, though these are short-term strategies for dealing with the pain.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs heal the root of the problem by increasing the level of energy available in your back and increasing your body’s ability to create that energy on its own. Because healing is based on improving your body’s ability to heal itself, healing is lasting. There are also no side effects.
Overload Pain/Acute Pain
Acute pain is often caused by excess and stagnation. In this case, there is too much energy in one place, and it can’t leave because the area is congested. It’s like when your car is stuck in the mud. Gunning the engine causes the wheels to spin and create heat, but the car doesn’t go anywhere because the energy isn’t in the right place. The same thing happens in cases of sciatica, back and neck pain caused by excess and stagnation. The area is hot, hurts to touch, and responds to cold. Heat makes it worse! The treatment key is to reduce the stagnation and heat and open up channels to allow things to flow again. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs heal the root of the problem in these cases by draining the stuck energy and making sure the heat doesn’t create collateral damage. Healing is based on moving the excess so your body can heal itself. And, as always, there are no side effects.
Long Term Pain/Acute and Chronic
Long term pain is a complicated condition. It is often a mix of both deficient and excess pain, complicated by depression caused by the pain. Depression actually increases the level of pain you experience. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can treat all the underlying causes of the pain in complicated cases. It does take time, however, and you will need to be committed to a long term healing process.
Patients who choose acupuncture to treat their sciatica, back and neck pain notice pain relief, increased mobility, an increase in strength in their back and necks, and a decrease or a complete end to pain episodes. And, because the whole body is strengthened, they feel healthier and happier in all aspects of life!