If you’ve felt some back pain recently, you’re not alone. About one in four adults in the US have experienced some sort of back pain over the last 3 months. And many times, particularly as we age, it’s difficult to pinpoint how or why you’ve got that soreness, knot or pulsating pain.
For years, many of us, whether under the orders of doctors or on our own, have reached for the ibuprofen or acetaminophen bottle to try and relieve back pain. But now, the American College of Physicians is recommending a new first line of defense against back pain before trying any sort of medication—natural therapies, among which acupuncture is one of them.
“There’s been a push over the past few years in my practice and in many others to push away from medications ― particularly opioids,” Allen Chen, director of physiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian/The Spine Hospital said to the Huffington Post, adding that this sea change to natural remedies has been long overdue.
There are a number of natural, physiological processes that those who suffer from back pain can opt for, including physical therapy, massage, and yoga. Acupuncture, however, is particularly suited to remedy back pain safely and for the long term because of its ability to treat root causes of pain and restore balance in the body.
For pain like back aches and soreness, licensed acupuncturists are able to “stimulate the proper points, especially polar points on the hands and feet, that rush blood back to the nervous system to assist the body in inflammation reduction," says Mona Ahdoot Dan, an LA-based acupuncturist. This act is similar to what medications are designed to do, but acupuncture is able to do this without the harmful side effects that painkillers and opioids come with.
Thankfully, with the ACP recognizing the benefits of holistic treatments like acupuncture, more and more people will stay away from harmful medications when their back starts acting up.