Back pain - Rugpijn - 背痛
Basic anatomy description:
The structure of the back is a column of vertebrae, called spine, which is maintained by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This structure will allow movements such as flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation.
It will also allow you to maintain a vertical posture. This structure is cushioned by disks which will assure a proper absorption of the shocks and facilitate the movements of the spine.
Any kind of issue, tension, trauma or injury of these structures can be a reason for back pain. The most common cause is an injury to the muscle and ligament because of poor posture, lack of exercise or improper lifting. Being overweight will also increase the pressure on the spine, which is a main cause of back pain too.
Back pain can also result from arthritis and other age-related changes in your spine, or from more-serious injuries, such as a vertebral fracture or ruptured disk, and from certain infections.
In addition, the spinal cord and part of the nervous system is protected by the spine. Any compression or tension on a vertebrae will press on the nerves creating pain and blockage.
Back pain and Chinese medicine:
In TCM, back pain will have different origins. It can be traumatologic (ex: whiplash), an attack of External Cold and Humidity (ex: windy and rainy day blocks the neck), Qi and/or Blood Stasis (ex: sleeping in a wrong position), Internal Heat (ex: local inflammation), any kind of physiological deficiency because of aging (liquids, blood, Yin, Yang, etc.) to give a few examples.
In order to properly treat the complaint, it is essential to have a discriminant analysis and understanding of the origin of the pain. Are you facing pain because of Heat? or Cold? or Wind? or Deficiency? or Excess? or Stagnation?
How can Chinese Medicine help?
The treatment principle will therefore depend on the root cause of what is creating pain. The TCM therapist will Clear the Heat, Warm the Cold, Expel the Wind, Free the Stagnation, Nourish the Deficiency depending on each particular and individual case.
Regardless of how it works, trials on acupuncture for treating back pain show great results with very little risk of side effects. Acupuncture can be a successful go-to therapy for acute and chronic back pain. The efficacy of Chinese medicine for pain management is backed by research, and a qualified professional, can provide safe and efficient treatment.
The major acupuncture points for the treatment of back pain: Shen Shu, Wei Zhong, Kun Lun, Yang Ling Quan, Hua Tuo Jia Ji, Jian Jing, Feng Chi, Tian Zhu, Guan Yuan Shu, Bai Lao, Yao Yan (腎俞, 委中, 昆侖, 陽陵泉, 華佗夾脊, 肩井, 風池, 天柱, 關元俞, 百劳, 腰眼).
Herbal formula such as Yao Tong Pian (腰痛片), Ru Mo Si Wu Tang (乳没四物湯), Shen Tong Zhu Yu Tang (身痛逐瘀湯) or Du Zhong Tang (杜仲湯) can be a great help to release the pain and regulate the condition.
Additional treatment: Tuina, Cupping, Guasha, Heat therapy, Auriculotherapy, External application of Zheng Hong Hua You (正紅花油) or herbal patches can all be very efficient complementary tools.
Because prevention is always better than illness ... Keep in mind:
To move more. Regular exercise can help reduce inflammation and muscle tension.
Watch your weight. Extra pounds can worsen or create back pain.
Stop smoking. Smoking limits the flow of blood and nutrients to the spinal discs, making them more vulnerable.
Watch your posture. A proper posture and alignment, will greatly help to maintain a healthy spine and vertebrae.
Sleeping position. Sleeping on the stomach can be especially heavy on the back.
Be careful how you tilt and lift heavy objects. Always bend your knees.
Avoid high heels. They will have a direct impact on the alignment of your hip and spine.
Do you still have questions?
Are you suffering from back pain and searching for support? Please feel free to contact us for additional information without any obligation. We are happy to tell you more about this. You can also immediately make an appointment and start as soon as possible to improve your condition.
How can I prevent back pain?
In the article “The 7 Pillars of Chinese Medicine”, you can find great lifestyle advises about how to maintain a high level of energy and health. Learn how to move.
Proper lifestyle habits can have both physical and mental benefits.
Written by Cedric Mallants / Chinese medicine specialist in Eindhoven