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In Summary

More and more Western doctors are now considering acupuncture treatment to relieve both acute and chronic lower back pain. Most acupuncturists here in the United States use a combination of acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbs (either internally administered or applied topically), Chinese diet therapy, and various types of Chinese exercise therapy. Anyone of these forms of treatment can significantly improve or even cure lower back pain.

Additional Insight

Qiu Wan-Xing, in Zhe Jiang Zhong Yi Za Zhi (Zhejiang Journal of Chinese Medicine – 1993), studied twenty patients with acute lumbar sprain with a formula first recorded in Chinese medical literature in 200 AD. Six patients were cured in 3 days; the remaining fourteen were cured in less than 6 days. When combined with other treatments, Chinese methods provide one of the best and most effective treatment protocols available in the world today.

Is Acupuncture Covered By Insurance?

Most insurance companies honor claims for acupuncture treatment. Patients are encouraged to contact their insurance provider. Dragon Phoenix Acupuncture will be pleased to assist in completing and filing insurance claim forms. Acupuncture treatment is tax-deductible as a medical expense.

Can Acupuncture Help You?

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints. It accounts for millions of lost hours from work and even more spent on treatment and medication.

Lower back pain can either be acute (i.e. Acute lumbar sprain) or chronic (i.e. Chronic degenerative disc disease). It can be annoying or irritating or can produce unbearable physical and emotional suffering.

Acupuncture and its adjunctive therapies can indeed treat both acute and chronic back pain, including sciatica, successfully.

Research Supports Acupuncture Treatment As Being Effective

The following studies, conducted in China in the early 1990’s, indicate the success rate of acupuncture in treatment of lower back pain.

General Findings:

Wang Wen-Yuan et al., in Beijing Zhong Yi (Beijing Chinese Medicine – 1993), studied 5,461 patients suffering from neck, shoulder, lower back and knee pain. Patients studied ranged from 28 – 85 years old; 55% were men while 45% were women. Of these, 215 patients suffered from acute lumbar sprain while 186 patients suffered from sciatica pain. Patients were treated with acupuncture on average once per day for a total of ten treatments. In all, 76% of patients were cured and 97% of patients showed significant improvement.

Acute Lumbar Sprain Findings:

Shu Hong-Wen, in Shang Hai Zhen Jiu Za Zhi (Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture & moxibustion – 1994), studied 129 patients (19 – 82 years old) with acute lumbar sprain. Most suffered anywhere from two hours to fifteen days, with three days being the average. Patients were treated with acupuncture needles at a single point. A control group was treated with needles at several points. Patients in BOTH groups were either cured completely or improved their condition greatly:

Of those treated with the single point protocol:

  • 73 were cured in one treatment
  • 33 patients were cured in two treatments
  • 8 were cured in three treatments all, 114 patients were cured from this group for a success rate of 88%.

Of those treated with several points:

  • 18 patients ere cured completely
  • 5 showed marked improvement
  • 7 showed fair improvement

Another study done by Kan Jin-Qi et al., in Shang Hai Zhen Jiu Za Zhi (Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion – 1994), further supported the success rate of the first study. Jin-Qi treated 130patients (27 – 82 years old) with acute lower back pain. Patients suffered from a few hours to as much as seven days. Of these, 110 patients were cured in one treatment for an 85% success rate. Meanwhile, the remaining 20 patients were cured in two treatments.

Degenerative Disc Disease Findings:

Gou Jian-Hua, reported in Jiang Su Zhong Yi (Jiangsu Chinese Medicine – 1994) that in treating 78 patients with prolapsed intervertebral discs with a combination of acupuncture, massage, heat and Acupressure:

56 patients or 72% were cured

In all, 15 patients were markedly improved; 5 cases showed fair improvement, 2 cases showed no change

In all, the success rate exceeded 96%

Lumbar Disc Protrusion Findings:

Wu Shi-Qian, in, Tian Hin Zhong Yi (Tianjin Chinese Medicine – 1994), treated 50 patients (30 – 60 years old) suffering from lumbar disc protrusion with acupuncture. Patients were treated daily for ten days with 4 – 6 points per treatment for a total of one course or cycle of treatment. Patients were typically treated for three full courses or cycles of treatment.

40 patients or 80% of cases were cured

8 experienced marked improvement

2 cases showed no change