Back pain is one of the most common reasons that people choose to see an osteopath. Even though osteopathy certainly can treat more conditions that just back pain, this condition is so prevalent in its various forms; there is never a shortage of people looking for treatment to help their condition.
Although there are several natural remedies and treatment methods for back pain, not all of them will be appropriate for every type of pain and strain that can afflict the back.
Osteopathy is often a first or close second port of call for back pain sufferers of all kinds. Typically, a person may come to see an osteopath for sciatic pain which mainly emanates from the sacral or hip area. It is characteristic of sciatic pain to radiate down either the side or the back of the leg and reflect itself in either numbness, burning or pain in the ankle and foot.
Acupuncture is also generally an effective treatment method for back pain, so much so that many osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists and even doctors will opt to learn acupuncture in order to incorporate it into their practice. With this additional skill, osteopaths are able to apply certain techniques of acupuncture in order to help their patients with pain relief.
Although an osteopath may study a short course in acupuncture, they are not acupuncturists unless they study a full course of acupuncture and become accredited practitioners. Therefore, osteopaths who have only completed short courses in acupuncture will be able to use techniques of acupuncture which may be effective for a select few conditions. Typically, an osteopath will often learn the techniques of pain control with acupuncture. These techniques are often referred to an ‘dry needling‘ as they are applying the acupuncture points in a symptomatic way.
Patients are often surprised at the healing results that acupuncture can bring about and are usually welcoming of the techniques when having treatment from an osteopath.
Usually an osteopath will begin their treatment approach with the standard practices of the osteopathic discipline. Then, if they feel they need more help or are in need of trying a different approach then they may choose to incorporate acupuncture into the treatment for their patient.
When treating lower back pain with acupuncture the practitioner will often select popular points such as Bl-23, Bl-24, Bl26, Liv-3 and Ht-6 as these points can have a strong effect on the back.
Here is an insightful video on treating lower back pain with acupuncture techniques. This video shows some of the more typical points and treatment methods for this condition that an osteopath may also use to threat lower back pain.
For tight muscles the practitioner may also choose to use various needle manipulation techniques. Typically, inserting the needle and moving it in and out in rapid succession is a technique used to help to free a tight muscle and bring about a more harmonious flow of blood through the area. Once the muscle begins to let go of the tension the muscle will soon soften and the patient will experience the relief.
After the application of the acupuncture techniques, the osteopath may then again choose to go back to working with osteopathic techniques in order to bring about more movement and suppleness in the lower back.
Both osteopathy and acupuncture are natural and holistic forms of treatment that work well together and compliment each other. This is why many osteopaths choose to also train at an acupuncture college, often for a short course in order to learn a selection of techniques for pain control. It is not uncommon then for osteopaths to go on to complete a full course in acupuncture.