Disabled By Low Back Pain

Low back pain can be absolutely debilitating. This case reviews a 34 year old male who reported that daily lumbar pain of 10/10 disabled him.

Six years prior to treatment at Oakland Hills Acupuncture, the patient injured his back while in the Armed Services.  A surgeon told the veteran that he had damaged his lumbar spine but that surgery would not help him. Cortisone injections were the first course of treatment the patient reports receiving. Unfortunately, the patient stated they were not of any help. Physical Therapy did not provide the patient much relief either. Therefore the patient was left in constant pain from which daily prescribed opiate pain medications and/or NSAIDs provided only temporary relief. 

The pain was deep, achy, and sharp. Shooting pain was often present down both legs. The patient was not able too bend over as the pain would increase as he bent. Therefore he was not able to put his shoes on and off or tie shoe laces and had been wearing slippers or sandals only for years. Fortunately, walking was unaffected. However, the patient was unable to carry anything as that stressed his back. The patient stated that carrying even the lightest groceries led to a significant increase in lumbar pain. The patient also reported trouble sleeping due to his back. 

The patient’s back was extremely tense. Applying pressure to lumbar musculature there was no give, just tight rock hard muscles. 

Treatment

At the initial visit, I treated the patient using  a combination of acupuncture points around his lumbar region, on his arms and feet, as well as on his head. I then added in electro-acupuncture starting at the second visit.

The patient reported pain relief after the first visit. Then with each subsequnt visit he rpeorted increased benefits relief that lasted longer. 

Over the course of six visits, the patient reported a pain reduction from 10/10 down to a 3 /10.

Along with the pain reduction came a decrease in the use of prescribed opiates. The patient also reported that he was able to move and bend over easier since starting treatment.

Unfortunately, the patient had to suddenly move out of state after the sixth visit in order to help a family member in need. I encouraged the patient to continue acupuncture in his new location.          

In general, while this patient saw benefits from the first treatment there are many who do not at first. Eventually though many people will see significant benefit by the fifth or sixth treatment. Every case is individual and many cases may need longer time. Review my other lumbar pain cases to get a better idea.

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