Yao Tong 腰痛


Lumbago or lower back pain is a disease that manifests as pain in the lower back area on one or both sides. The symptom can be seen in rheumatism, ankylosing spondylitis, lumbar muscle strain, acute lumbar sprain, prolapse of lumbar intervertebral disc, hyperosteogeny of lumbar vertebra, tuberculosis and tumor of lumbar vertebra, renal diseases, pelvic disease, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. Because the lumbar region is described as "the home of the kidney", lumbago has a close relationship with disorders of the kidneys. Lumbago is a very common symptom in the United States: 50% of the population experience different degrees of back pain at some point in their lives.

The causes of lumbago are complicated. According to TCM "damp-cold", Qi and blood stagnation, and kidney-deficiency are the main ones. "Damp-cold" refers to the body being attacked in different ways, such as living in a wet or cold place, or walking in the rain, wading into water, or being exposed to wind while sweating, or wearing wet clothes, etc. The "damp-cold" blocks the meridians and obstructs the Qi-blood circulation, which causes muscle spasms, swollen nerves, and in the end lumbago. Stagnation of Qi and blood is mainly caused by traumatic injuries such as auto accidents, or falling down, or carrying heavy stuff. The injury damages muscles, or causes discs to bulge or herniate, then pinching the nerves, and causing lumbago. Kidney-deficiency may be caused by innate weakness, overwork, chronic diseases, sexual indulgence. When the kidneys are weak, the surrounding tissues are lacking of nourishing and warming, and thus, dull aching is experienced.

Acupuncture is the best therapy for lower back pain. Many patients feel better after 1-2 sessions of treatments, and recover after 3-5 treatments. Most disc surgeries are not necessary! Many patients came to our clinic with MRI pictures showing multiple lumbar disc herniations with 4-5 mm bulging discs. After a course of acupuncture treatments, the pain and/or leg numbness disappeared. You should always try acupuncture first before surgery!