A woman with the age of 60s came to my clinic with pain and tingling sensation in her left inguinal area, low back, buttock and thigh.
4 weeks ago she had visited a doctor and had been diagnosed with shingles, and a week later she had visited another doctor and had been diagnosed with Meralgia Paresthetica. She had tried to cool, warm the area of the pain, apply CBD cream and take pain killers every 4 hours, but there had not been any improvement.
She was referred to my clinic by her niece who was my patient, but very skeptical about acupuncture.
Her symptom showed up when she lay on her side during sleep. After the first treatment, pain and tingling sensation in her left thigh disappeared and she could sleep on either side, but she seemed still skeptical and was thinking that it got better because one week had passed.
After the second treatment, pain and tingling sensation in her low back, buttock and inguinal area disappeared mostly as well. At this point, she seemed like trusting the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment.
I finished her third treatment telling her to come back for 2 more treatments to prevent reoccurrence.
Dangerous Low Back Pain
It is said that many of low back pains are caused by stiffness or scars of the muscles, but there is a dangerous low back pain caused by the compression of the nerve in the low back, which is a herniated (intervertebral) disc.
A herniated disc is the condition that the disc between bones in the low back, which called Intervertebral disc, bulges out and stimulates the nerve, causing low back pain or numbness in the leg (Fig. 1).
How to check whether your low back pain is caused by a herniated disc or not
(1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (Fig. 2).
(2) Stand on tiptoe for 10 seconds.
If you stagger or your heels touch the ground within 10 seconds, you may have a herniated disc.
When the nerve from the back to the leg is disturbed by a herniated disc, the calf doesn’t have strength or feels numb, making difficult to stand on tiptoe stably.
Exercise to prevent a herniated disc
(1) Sit straight on a chair (Fig. 3).
(2) Bend your upper body forward slowly to more than 45 degrees and return to the original state (Fig. 4).
(3) Repeat 10 reps.
I had been feeling uncomfortable in my right hip joint, but I went out for running and stopped running after I ran 5 miles due to pain in my right hip joint.
The next day I felt pain in the hip joint only after a half mile walk and when I’m sitting or lying down, I felt pain in the inside of my right knee and lower leg, squeezing feeling in my right thigh, ankle and top of my right foot.
It is difficult to treat yourself because you can’t reach where the cause of the pain is or where you want to needle, especially when the symptom is on your back side. But since the condition was the same on the following day, I decided to start treating myself.
After self-acupuncture treatments of about twice a week for 1 month, there was no pain while sitting or lying down, and less pain when I walked, so I tried to run about 3 miles. While I was running, there was no pain so that I thought my hip joint got better, but the next day I couldn’t walk more than a half mile without pain.
Again I started treating myself. I continued self-treatment for 2 weeks, but this time my hip joint didn’t get better at all even though I did the same kind of treatments I had done before.
When I started to think that I should visit another acupuncturist, an idea came to my mind. I usually put the thinner side of a round-tip needle on an acupuncture point, but I came up with the idea of putting the thicker side of the round-tip needle on an acupuncture point, flipping the round-tip needle.
Then I touched an acupuncture point located on the side of my abdomen called GB26 with the thicker side of the round-tip needle, and moved my right hip joint. When I was touching the point with the thinner side, there was pain by moving the hip joint, but touching the point with the thicker side decreased the pain in the hip joint.
After that experience, I continued self-treatment, incorporating this method, and the pain in the hip joint gradually disappeared. 2 weeks later I tried to run again about 3 miles, but the pain in the hip joint didn’t happen. Then I tried 6 miles and 9 miles, but the pain didn’t come back.
As I mentioned at the beginning, self-treatment is difficult because what can be done on myself is very limited compared to the treatment for others, but it is a very good chance to find better way to treat a patient because I can try something I usually don’t do on my patients.
A patient with the age of 30s came to my clinic for low back pain. Her low back hurt with bending forward and backward. She was also suffering from a severe headache from the back of her neck to the back of her left eye for 3 days. She took medication, but the headache didn’t get better. She had had a chronic headache since she was a child almost every day.
When I checked her body, she had a lot of painful points between shoulder blades and her left buttock. After removing all the painful points with 2 needles on her head and left low back, her headache was gone.
After some touch-up treatment, I had her stand up and check her back. There was no pain in her low back with bending forward and backward.
Since she had a headache in the back of her eye, I was planning to use another acupuncture point which was usually used for such a headache at the end of the treatment, but it was not necessary.
I think that her headache comes from the tightness between her shoulder blades and continuous acupuncture treatment helps improve her chronic headache from her childhood.
5 Best Acupuncture Points You Can Easily Press and Improves Symptoms Chosen by 100 Acupuncturists (5/5)
1st: Chosen by 31 out of 100 Acupuncturists
Stiff neck and shoulders, Headache, Cold intolerance, Edema, Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia, Tiredness of Eyes, Low back pain, Knee pain, Constipation, Menstrual cramps, rough skin, High blood pressure, Diarrhea, Pollen allergy, Sore throat, Toothache, Dizziness, Snoring, Ringing in ears
This acupuncture point is all-around and the strongest acupuncture point effective for various symptoms all over the body.
Large Intestine-4 (LI4)
Location of LI4
LI4 is located where the bones of the index finger and the thumb meets and is the index finger side (Fig. 1).
Pressing LI4 promotes the secretion of the substance having an analgesic effect and affects the symptoms all over the body.
How to press LI4
Push your thumb into the inside of your index finger and count 10 (Fig. 2).
5 Best Acupuncture Points You Can Easily Press and Improves Symptoms Chosen by 100 Acupuncturists (4/5)
2nd: Chosen by 23 out of 100 Acupuncturists
Low back pain, Knee pain, Tiredness of legs, Constipation, Tiredness of stomach
Location of ST36
ST36 is located where the finger hits the bone when pushing the bone below the knee upward (Fig. 1).
Pressing ST36 improves the blood flow around the low back and the whole legs and promotes the function of the stomach and intestines through the brain.
How to press ST36
(1) Overlap your thumbs one another on ST36 and push toward your knee (Fig. 2).
(2) When you push for 5 seconds, release for 5 seconds (Fig. 3).
(3) Repeat 5 times.
5 Best Acupuncture Points You Can Easily Press and Improves Symptoms Chosen by 100 Acupuncturists (3/5)
3rd : Chosen by 18 out of 100 Acupuncturists
Low back pain, Knee pain, Cold intolerance, Edema and Menstrual cramps
SP6 is located where the point 4 fingers above the inner side of the ankle bone meets the inside of the leg bone (Fig. 1).
Pressing SP6 increases the blood flow around the pelvis, uterus and ovaries and regulates the balance of hormones, so it is effective for low back problems and gynecological problems.
How to press SP6
(1) Press SP6 like putting your thumb into the inside of the bone for 3 seconds (Fig. 2).
(2) Release your thumb for 3 seconds (Fig. 3).
(3) Repeat (1) and (2) for 5 times.
A patient with low back pain came to my clinic. Checking her pelvis, right side of her pelvis was higher toward the head. After loosening her low back and her right buttock with round-tip needles, I adjusted her pelvis to make the height the same. Right after the treatment, she felt better and when she came back for the next treatment, she didn’t have pain in her low back so that I focused on the other symptoms and didn’t add the treatment for low back pain.
She came back 2 days after her regular chiropractic treatment and she told me that her low back got worse after the chiropractic treatment. She was not able to bend her back backward due to pain. Checking her pelvis, her right pelvis was obviously higher vertically, in addition to being higher to the head. Same as before, I loosened her low back and buttock with round-tip needles and adjusted her pelvis to make the height the same both vertically and horizontally. After the treatment, she became able to bend her back backward without pain.
What did the chiropractor adjust?
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(1) Sitting on a couch that makes the low back lower than the knees
When you sit on a couch that makes the low back lower than the knees, the pelvis is bent backward, which applies an excessive burden on the low back, resulting in low back pain. The distortion of the pelvis causes the distortion of the spine (Fig. 1 & 2).
Countermeasure: put a cushion or pillow under the buttocks to adjust the low back to the position higher than the knees.
(2) Wearing a corset all the time encourages low back pain
A corset is effective to relieve pain at the time of acute low back pain by keeping the low back stable. But wearing a corset for a long time weakens the muscles around the low back and causes the opposite effect, which can be the distortion of the spine.
Which bag is good to prevent the distortion of the spine, a shoulder bag, a back pack or a hip pack? (Fig. 3)
The answer is a hip pack. A hip pack (waist pack) is recommended to prevent the distortion of the spine because the weight is at the center of the low back (Fig. 4).
A shoulder bag makes the balance between the right and the left lost, possibly causing the distortion of the spine. When you use a shoulder bag, it is recommended to change the sides to carry on every 30 minutes.
A back pack looks like putting less burden on the back, but when the slings are too loose, your upper body is pulled backward due to the weight of the bag so that you have a head forward posture without thinking to keep a balance and that causes low back pain. It is important not to make a gap between the back and the back pack by tightening the slings (Fig. 5).
(3) Footwear that the heel is not fixed
Footwear that the heel is not fixed like slippers, sandals makes you shuffle weighing backward, which makes your pelvis tilt back and leads to the distortion of the whole body (Fig. 6).
(4) A bad tooth
A bad tooth makes you bite on the other side without thinking, causing the distortion of the jaw, leading to the distortion of the neck, upper back and lower back. It is important to treat your decayed teeth and bite on both sides of the teeth.
First, let's check if your spine is distorted.
How to check the distortion of your spine
(1) Put your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head on the wall without your hands touching the wall (Fig. 0-1).
(2) Raise your right leg slowly and keep it for 5 seconds (Fig. 0-2).
(3) If you can keep your right leg up, raise your left leg slowly and keep it up for 5 seconds (Fig. 0-3).
(4) If you lose the balance when you raise either leg, your spine can be distorted to that side. If you fall to the left when you raise your left, your spine is distorted to the left. If you fall to the right when you raise your right leg, your spine is distorted to the right (Fig. 0-4).
Exercise to improve the distortion of the spine - Crawling exercise
The points are:
(1) Crawl in the opposite direction of your distortion (Fig. 1).
When you lift up your left leg, if you fall to the left, you need to crawl clockwise (right-handed), and when you lift up your right leg, if you fall to the right, you need to crawl counterclockwise (left-handed).
(2) The size of the circle to crawl
Crawl a large circle at the beginning and gradually make the circle smaller because that makes the muscles supporting the spine slowly stretched and the range of motion of the spine wider without strain.
Check the distortion of the spine (Thoracic spine)
Extend both your arms, put your palms together and check the tips of your fingers (Fig. 1-1 & 1-2). If the tips of the fingers are misaligned, there can be distortion of thoracic spine (Fig. 1-3).
Results after 1 week’s trial
Fig. 2 shows the result of 70 years old male. His back became straightened up and the flexibility when he bent forward became better by 13 cm (about 5 inches).
Crawling exercise not only fixes the distortion of the lumber spine but also loosens up the tension of the muscles around, improve the range of motion and makes it easier to bend forward.
Fig. 3 shows the result of 24 years old female who had had the distortion of the thoracic spine. Her rounded back became straighter and the line between her nose and jaw returned to vertical, which means the distortion of her cervical spine was also improved (Fig. 4). The tip of her fingers fit without misalignment, which means the distortion of her thoracic spine was improved.
Other 5 examinees’ postures were improved as well.
This Blog is for a memo of my clinical realizations, information about health I have learned recently and update information.