How Acupuncture Is Used With Osteopathy For Back Pain

back pain treatmentBack 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.

What is Osteopathy

structural osteopathy treatmentOsteopathy is a form of holistic, manual medicine. This means that the osteopath will use a combination of manual techniques in order to treat the whole body, help eliminate illness and restore optimum health.

Being a manual therapy, Osteopaths use their hands to treat. By placing the hands on certain areas of the body, the osteopath is able to see and feel if there are any structural abnormalities in the body. Once found, the osteopath can then begin work on correcting the issues with manipulative techniques they apply with their hands.

Many people think that osteopathy is a therapy that only focuses on the physical, structural body and therefore, only deals with conditions like trapped nerves, strained muscles and physical pain. However, osteopathy is much more than this as it is a holistic therapy. For example, for instance, if a person has a headache or a digestive issue, the osteopath may often treat that particular area, but will also look at other bodily structures to see if something else is also causing and maintaining the problem. By correcting issues on the surface of the body, one may also have an effect on the internal landscape.

Techniques Used In Osteopathy

Structural Osteopathy

Structural osteopathy is a physical technique that is used to mobilise painful joints, release stress and tension in the body and help to elevate pain and bring a greater range of flexibility to injured or stiff areas.

Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is a more subtle technique that can help with the circulation of all the fluids in the body. This also includes the cerebral spinal fluid which circulates around the spinal cord and the brain. Cranial Osteopathy is a gentle and relaxing technique that is very pleasant to receive and can address various conditions and symptoms.

Visceral Manipulation

Osteopaths may also use a technique called visceral manipulation. This technique is fascinating as it is a way of the practitioner being able to get a sense of any imbalances, disturbances and blockages in the internal organs by placing the hands on the outside of the body. As the practitioner does this, they can feel if internal viscera or organs have a physiological abnormality or if they are stuck or compressed. If they find that this is the case, then the osteopath can apply techniques to help to free up the organ.

Osteopathy is a medicine that can offer a great many benefits. The practice is about making different connections within the body to get to the route cause of an ailment and using a combination of techniques, such as the ones discussed above, to bring about a healing effect for the patient.