In Australia it is estimated that 70 to 90% of people will suffer from lower back pain sometime in their life. The effect of back pain has a profound effect on quality of life, mental health and can, in severe cases, lead to disability or mobility restriction.
Types of Treatment
GPs provide a wide variety of treatment for Back Pain including referral to other health services, medication (painkillers) and patient education. In severe cases they may refer patients to hospitals for surgery and rehabilitation.
The Royal Australian College of Surgeons recommends Acupuncture as one of the main non-surgical interventions for people with chronic lower back pain. While the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK who advise the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) on quality standards in care, include Acupuncture in their management of persistent non-specific lower back pain and advise GPs to recommend up to 10 sessions with an Acupuncturist.
Acupuncture for Lower Back Healthcare
Acupuncture has been recommended by medical advisors and pain societies as a non-risky alternative to strong medication or possible evasive surgery. It is especially recommended in the first instance of lower back pain occurring. Acupuncture has a strong effect on the autonomic nervous system; when acupuncture needles are stimulated correctly by a licenced acupuncturist they can train the autonomic nervous system to realign its perception of pain. Acupuncture can be extremely effective at eliminating or substantially reducing lower back pain in the long term, especially when combined with lifestyle change and core strengthening exercise like yoga and meditation.
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare: Authoritative Information and statistics to promote better health and wellbeing, Back Pain and Problems, December 2014.
Heather Tick, Integrative Pain Medicine: A Holistic Model of Care, International Association for the Study of Pain, VOL XXII • NO 2 MAY 2014.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Low back pain: Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain, NICE guidelines [CG88], Published date: May 2009.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Spinal Surgery for Chronic Low Back Pain: Review of Clinical Evidence and Guidelines, Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures – Surgical, June 2014.
US Department of Health & Human Services, Evidence-based Practice Centre Systematic Review Protocol: Non-invasive Treatments for Low Back Pain, Research Protocol – Oct. 8, 2014.