Q: Would acupuncture help me I have a slipped disc? i have had it for 3 months. I am having physio but seem to be at standstill.
A: Slipped discs can take a long time to recover, even when using therapies which are known to help. Where the standard treatment in conventional medicine used to involve a great deal of bed rest, continual movement is now the order of the day to help the acumulated tissue to disperse. There are a number of small studies which underpin documents like this overview http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0048469/ which mentions that there is a weak evidence base for acupuncture. Our own fact sheet on sciatica http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/sciatica.html mentions a number of studies which show some encouraging results for the kinds of secondary problems which can arise from a slipped disc. Sight unseen it is very difficult to offer a detailed opinion, but speaking in very general terms, there is often an accident or underlying pattern of weakness which predisposes someone to have a slipped disc, and there are often ways of understanding the disease process from a Chinese medicine point of view which offer treatment possibilities. This can often be the case when someone has reached a plateau in the conventional treatment they are having. However, it is not uncommon for people to seem to plateau and then for the condition to resolve after 3-6 months, and you may well find that you suddenly begin to make progress again. Acupuncture treatment certainly won't do you any harm, and given that the area where you have been affected will have been quite immobile and 'stagnant' for a few months it is possible that from a Chinese medicine perspective there are significant blockages whose clearance may help to speed up your recovery.
If you have any questions about acupuncture, browse our archive or ask an expert.
Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website
Catch up with the latest news on acupuncture in the national media
Keep up to date with our news or join the #acupuncture conversation
Thinking about trying acupuncture?
Have a look at our Frequently asked questions, browse our video testimonials or the Ask an expert area
63 Jeddo RoadLondon W12 9HQPhone: 020 8735 0400
Fax: 020 8735 0404