How long does acupuncture take to work for back pain?
You might be contemplating using acupuncture for lower back pain and want to know how long does acupuncture take to work for back pain? Are you suffering from a herniated disc, lumbar spinal stenosis, or sciatica? The question of how long does acupuncture take to work for back pain? The question of “how long does it take” critical when you are trying to decide if you should try acupuncture for your back pain.
The Straight Leg Check
Before you get treated for acupuncture, a physical exam should be done to check your lower back. One of the tests used is the straight leg raising test. The straight leg raising test shows where the problem is in your lower back. As the practitioner lifts the leg if you feel pain early on in your lower back, at around 20 degrees, it is a problem related to the 5th and 4th lumbar vertebrae. If the pain is felt as the leg is raised further up, from 30 to 60 degrees, then the pain relates to the upper lumbar vertebrae. There are five vertebrae in the lower back. The last one is the fifth vertebrae in the lower back. If you are a lower back sufferer and you’ve had an MRI you are very aware of which vertebrae and nerves are affected. Based upon how high you raise the leg and where the pain is felt, you will be able to isolate the exact vertebrae which and related nerves are affected by the pain. So the test will tell us which nerve is affected by the raising of the leg.
Why is this important?
When raising the leg there should not feel any nerve pain down the buttock, leg or felt into the foot at all. If you do feel the pain, this test, among others, pin-points which vertebrae is affected. If you do feel the pain in the leg this indicates that there is a disc, a bone, or a nerve problem affecting the nerves in the lower back.
Testing Before and Testing After With the Straight Leg Check
Testing the nerve roots in the back is usually done before treatment. However, the same test can be done after the acupuncture treatment to test the nerves in the lower back. This will help assess how well you did with treatment! The key issue is to find out if there is less pain! This straight leg raising can be done again and tested to see if there is no pain when performing the movement. So raising the leg before treatment and raising the leg after treatment is a quick way of comparison to determine if the acupuncture has worked! Walking around the treatment room after the visit will tell as well, but this is an objective sign that will display if there is less nerve irritation and less inflamed after the treatment.
Short Term Pain Relief Versus Long Term Pain Relief
When asking how long does acupuncture take to work on back pain? We have to differentiate between short-term pain relief and long-term pain relief. Most people want to have long term relief. Initially, acupuncture treatments for severe lower back pain are short lived. The pain relief will last a few hours up to three days. As the treatments progress, the frequency of the pain and the intensity of pain does start to decrease and the treatments last longer.
Frequency of Acupuncture Treatment is really key for Severe Pain
So how long does acupuncture take to work for back pain? Frequency of treatment is the key here. There is one rule that helps you get out of pain.
“Don’t wait for your pain to return to the original levels before getting treated again”
As each visit reduces your back pain, at some point of frequent treatment the pain starts to subside and become less intense. You will start to feel more confident in moving and in your ability to do things. The pain you are feeling will feel less intense and the frequency that pain is experienced is will be reduced as well. When you can stand up and realize the pain is much less or gone, you start to see the wisdom that treatment frequency
Acupuncture does require more than one visit for severe pain. If you are nursing treatments once a week, you will need longer time to get treated. If you treat two or three times a week you in essence triple your results so we are talking weeks not months! The frequency does factor in to the question of “how long”? Acupuncture pushes and prods your body into pain relief, and this takes more than one treatment.
Many people expect one treatment to yield 100% results. However, would you settle for no pain or little pain after a series of treatments? The long view gets you out of pain permanently. The individual treatments can get you immediate relief in some cases. So looking at this a small process is what it will take to get you out of pain. But results is what it is all about.
So how long does acupuncture take to work for back pain? Short term relief can be seen immediately. Long term relief can be seen after several visits and the frequency of the visits does matter. I know you want to get rid of your pain as soon as possible. But knowing the process will help you navigate the treatment.
Are you looking for pain relief? Then look for someone with over 20 years of experience, compassion and a real desire to see you succeed? Call now to schedule your consult and stop suffering. My acupuncture office is located in Ridgewood, New Jersey, in Bergen County. I would be happy to try and help you! Call 201-444-7150 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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