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Could acupuncture relieve exposed nerve in my lower back?

Q:  I have an exposed nerve in my lower back due to wear in my lower spine. I have been told I need a spinal steroid injection which I dont want. Could acupuncture give me any relief?

 

A:  Spinal steroid injections can be helpful for some groups of patients while offering limited benefit to others. As this study shows
 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15363419
 
there is no doubt that it can help, but a great deal depends on the extent of the deterioration and where its exact location is.
 
Acupuncture treatment can have some very positive benefits for lower back pain and for sciatica, as our factsheets show please click here

and please click here

and as we are sure you are aware it is now amongst the recommended treatments in the NICE guidelines for lower back pain. However, there are limits to what any form of treatment can achieve in the face of extreme deterioration of a spinal joint, and you would almost certainly need to be assessed face to face by a practitioner for them to be able to give you an informed professional view on whether they could help you.
 
It is important to be aware, however, that Chinese medicine as a system operates on an entirely different basis from conventional medicine, using concepts such as 'qi', a description of the energy of the body, and of flow of energy around the body. The practitioner will want to know not simply where things hurt now, but how the whole system is working and why the back has deteriorated in the way it has, along with what other symptoms you nay have. All of this information will help them to build up a comprehensive picture of your system and give you the best possible advice on the advisability of acupuncture treatment.   
 

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