Traditional acupuncturists believe that the body’s energy (chi or qi) can become blocked and that it is this blockage, through stress, injury, or disease,
that is responsible for the observed symptoms of illness and pain. In order to unblock this energy flow acupuncture aims to stimulate the meridians, or channels, of qi in the body thus restoring proper function and allowing the body to heal.
Whilst many remain sceptical of the presence of qi in the body there is mounting evidence that acupuncture has the ability to beneficially affect the body’s pain response and perception of illness. Although acupuncture is still far from an exact science there are observable differences between patients treated for pain using specific acupuncture points and a sham therapy when it comes to back pain and spinal stenosis treatment. As spinal stenosis can often worsen due to a vicious cycle of inflammation and pain, acupuncture’s potential ability to remove or reduce the perceived pain can contribute to a welcome break in the cycle allowing the body to begin its repair processes.
How acupuncture can help spinal stenosis
Patients with spinal stenosis may find that acupuncture can help them to reduce their dependency on pain medications, thereby reducing the incidence of pharmacological side-effects. Consulting a qualified and experienced practitioner is recommended, and you may be able to recoup the cost of treatment through health insurance or take part in a clinical trial for free (check ClinicalTrials.gov). Using an acupressure mat at home between acupuncture sessions may also help relieve lower back pain from spinal stenosis and works on the same principles as acupuncture itself.