Acupuncture for pain relief

Acupuncture is an effective pain relief for back pain.

In the first article, we discussed bad posture and where it comes from. Different issues can result in poor posture:

Chronic overuse               Exercising such as running, lifting weights, playing tennis, sitting at computer, using a mouse

An injury                            Such as a fall, broken bone, car accident

Genetic issues                   Curvature of spine, shortened leg bone.

Bad posture will force the body to compensate for twisted, hunched and titled joints and muscles. Faulty posture leads to adaptations by muscles and the nervous system. When a joint or muscle have a change in their function, their flexibility and range of motion suffers. To compensate for the shift, the brain engages other muscles to provide stability and movement.

Example: A client comes in with lumbar back and right knee pain. The runner has no herniation or spinal problems. With posture analysis, the client’s right hip is higher than the left causing lumbar muscle to change their function.   Right side lumbar muscles are tight and inflamed from the hip joint being higher than the left causing pain.  See picture A.

Right hip hike leading to back pain.

Right hip hike leading to back pain.

When muscles become over worked from poor posture, the nervous system recruits secondary muscle groups to provide support in actions and static postures.

Example: The client with the raised hip has not only tight sore lumbar muscles, but experiences knee pain. To bypass sore lumbar muscles, the nervous system passes the workload onto the quad and adductors of the right leg. The right leg muscles start to pull the patella out of its proper tracking causing pain. Thus knee pain is the result of the body trying to compensate for hip and lumbar issues.  See picture B.

Right hip hike leads to compensation of the right leg resulting in right knee pain.

Right hip hike leads to compensation of the right leg resulting in right knee pain.

In overuse patterns, the continued use of over active, tired, tight muscles lead to a negative feedback loop. Compensating muscles become more tired and tight resulting in shortened muscles that are painful. While the week under used muscles continue to weaken as the nervous system no longer calls on them for use.

Example: The right side is tight and tired from the hip being higher. Muscle testing the client indicates that their left side gluteus medius and minimus (aka butt muscles) are weak and unable to stabilize the back. The imbalance is a player in the back pain, by encouraging the right back muscles to stay tight.  See picture C

Right hip hike results in painful lumbar muscles and weak gluts.

Right hip hike results in painful lumbar muscles and weak gluts.

Thus, posture compensation is important part in pain patterns. Observing the body to understand how the counterbalances are manifesting help to enhance the treatment plan. To correct faulty posture poses, its key to restore proprioceptive motor balance. Acupuncture can adjust the signaling between the brain and nervous system to balance muscle groups and regain neutral body posture. Once in a stabile body position, pain patterns can diminish.

How does posture analysis play into the treatment?

The first step at Ridgefield acupuncture is to observe your standing posture and discuss issues involved in the pain – such as exercise, sitting for long periods of time or how a movement played into the injury.

The next step is to restore proprioceptive balance, using acupuncture to treat opposing muscles groups. The acupuncture can release tight/tired muscles, while encouraging nervous system signaling to strengthen weak muscles.

Finally, as treatment progresses, home exercises can be added to continue the reinforcement of the acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture is not just about sticking needles into your pain area, it’s about understanding who you are and how your body works.

In pain? Call Ridgefield Acupuncture today and find pain relief today.  914-572-5137