Acupuncture and lower back pain.

Q:  I am suffering from pain on the right side of my lower back. If you feel the area, there are deep "knots" under the skin. I also suffer from nerve pain. My sleep is affected from lying on my back.
 I would like to know would acupuncture cure this problem?

A:  There are back pains and back pains! As our factsheet on back pain shows
acupuncture treatment has been shown to have significant benefits in the treatment of back pain. There are even recommendations in NICE guidelines that patients with chronic back pain be offered up to ten sessions of acupuncture, and given the difficulties of convincing conventional medicine that acupuncture works, this is quite a powerful recommendation.
However, Chinese medicine operates from an entirely different paradigm or theoretical basis, and a great deal depends on the unique presentation of symptoms which you have and the underlying causes. Even medical acupuncture differentiates between types of back pain, but in the case of Chinese medicine, it is not simply a matter of looking at the different ways in which the symptoms manifest but also of looking at the overall picture to understand why these specific symptom arose in your system.
It is highly likely that a practitioner could help you, and the best advice we can give is that you visit a BAcC member local to you for a face to face assessment of whether they think that treatment would be of benefit. They may feel, for example, that there is a structural problem where you might get better and more rapid relief from visiting an osteopath, but based on your brief description we think that acupuncture may help you. 'Cure' is not a word we use, but a reduction in your symptoms should be possible, and once the cycle of discomfort is broken, there is every chance that you will feel better.
Your practitioner may well ask you questions about your lifestyle and work. In our experience there are often work-related postural problems or specific accidents behind chronic pain, and it may well be that the practitioner makes recommendations about what changes you might need to make in your work layout to help to stop recurrences of the problems.

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