Traditional Chinese Medicine for Back Pain
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, back pain can be caused by external, internal and independent factors. For external factors, there are six external forces invade the human body to cause diseases in TCM theory. They are called the six external pathogens, namely wind, heat, dampness, fire, dryness and cold. Back pain can be caused by wind, cold, dampness and heat invade the body.
For internal factors, common patterns of back pain are liver depression due to stress, kidney qi deficiency due to fatigue. For independent factors, back pain can be caused by traumatic injury, heavy lifting, dietary imbalance, insufficient exercise and many other reasons. For back pain caused by external and internal factors, the flow of qi and blood is blocked in your body. This is why you can feel the pain. TCM aims to restore the balance, so qi and blood can flow freely and smoothly without obstruction.
Acupuncture for Back Pain
TCM practitioners often offer acupuncture combined with herbal formula for back pain. Acupuncture points to ease back pain are located all over the body, not just over the affected area. Acupuncture can help to relieve chronic back pain, reduce inflammation, improve muscle stiffness and joint mobility. It can also help to reduce use of medication.
According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials, is effective for low back pain (1). Other study suggests that acupuncture can provide short-term improvements in pain and function for chronic low back pain, either used in isolation or as an adjunct to conventional therapy (2).
Cupping is a very effective for back pain. It is used to increase the muscle relaxing and pain relieving effects. Cupping is thought to release tissues deep inside the body, relax tense muscles and ease stiffness associated with back pain. (Cupping Therapy)
Back Pain Relief
1) Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis) has been traditionally used for pain relief. Many studies suggest that Yan Hu Suo can block inflammation and nerve pain. It contains a pain-relieving compound called dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), which is believed to produce pain-relieving effects by blocking pain signals in the brain (3).
2) Jiang Huang (Turmeric) has been traditionally used to reduce joint pain in Chinese medicine. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help to relieve pain in the back, neck and shoulders (4).