On May 15, 2014, Manalapan health Examiner Stacey Chillemi interviewed acupuncturist Dr. Chang at the Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Center in Belleville, New Jersey discussing how acupuncture is an effective tool to curing neck and back pain. Nearly eight out of every 10 people will have neck and back pain at some point in their life.
Did you know...?
According to the National Institutes of Health, back pain is the second most common neurological disorder in the United States. Only headaches are more common.
Neck and back pain is one of the reasons people go to be treated by a chiropractor. It is also the main reason why people go to be treated by an acupuncturist. The good news is neck and back pain is one of the conditions that research suggests can be cured with the usage of acupuncture treatment.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture began in China more than 2,500 years ago. It involves inserting thin needles at certain points on the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the body has more than 2,000 of these points. They are connected by pathways or meridians, which create a flow of energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”). Stimulating these points is said to correct the imbalance of qi and improve the flow of energy. Practitioners believe that this helps relieve neck and back pain and many other conditions as well.
"If you have neck and back pain, the first step is to be properly assessed by a chiropractor. Neck and back pain has many causes, from muscle strain to more serious conditions such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylosisthesis, osteoporosis, or a tumor, so it is important to find out what is causing the neck and back pain, says Dr. Michael Chillemi DC, chiropractor at the Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Center in Belleville, New Jersey."
Ways to cure back pain
Acupuncture: A study conducted at Sheffield University in the United Kingdom looked at the long-term symptom reduction and economic benefits of acupuncture for persistent low back pain. Averages of eight acupuncture treatments were given to 159 people, while 80 people received usual care instead. After one year, people receiving acupuncture had reduced pain and reported a significant reduction in worry about their pain compared to the usual care group. After two years, the acupuncture group was significantly more likely to report that the past year had been pain-free. They were less likely to use medication for pain relief.
How does acupuncture work?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, pain results from blocked energy along energy pathways of the body, which are unblocked when acupuncture needles are inserted along these invisible pathways. A scientific explanation is that acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving opioids, sends signals that calm the sympathetic nervous system, and releases neurochemicals and hormones.
An acupuncture treatment generally costs between $60 and $120. Acupuncture is tax-deductible (it is considered a medical expense) and some insurance plans pay for acupuncture. If you want to try acupuncture, plan to go one to three times a week for several weeks initially.