Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is one of the most common complaints in the UK. It affects an estimated one in three adults with over 2 million seeking help from their GP. For some, the pain can be extremely debilitating and impinge greatly upon their lives.
Since 2009, NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has recommended acupuncture for it as a front-line treatment for chronic non-specific lower back pain.
When using acupuncture for back pain, the practitioner looks at each patients on an individual case-by-case basis. People vary greatly with regard to triggers or things that may ease their pain. For example, some sufferers of this pain find it worsens during cold or damp weather and may feel relief through the application of a hot water bottle. For others, the sensation of heat can be unpleasant and can increase the pain.
Various factors are taken into consideration when diagnosing a patient, including whether the pain is chronic or acute, dull or sharp, worse first thing in the morning after lying in bed or worse later in the day after activity. This helps the practitioner to understand the underlying causes of the pain and to devise the correct treatment plan