Holistic Acupuncture and Back Pain in Houston
Acupuncture is longstanding tradition in Eastern medicine. Acupuncture is considered holistic medicine. An acupuncture expert (acupuncturist) inserts several thin needles just under the surface of the patient’s skin in various pre-determined positions. These positions correspond to the 2,000+ pressure points that acupuncturists believe correspond to 20 primary pathways (called meridians in the theory of acupuncture). The basic principle of holistic acupuncture is that the body has several natural energy pathways (meridians) and if one or more of these pathways are blocked, qi (life-force) cannot flow properly and a variety of negative conditions result. In traditional Eastern medicine, qi’s proper flow can be restored through stimulating key points on the body with acupuncture needles. Holistic acupuncture has been used to treat low back pain.
As one might imagine, the efficacy (ability of a treatment or drug to achieve a positive result on a consistent basis in many patients) of holistic acupuncture has not been proven in Western evidence-based medicine. Healthcare in the Western world is organized around the principle of treating specific conditions with specific treatments and / or drugs. Doctors first conduct physical exams to narrow possible causes (such as for the origin of a patient’s back pain) and then, if necessary, additional specialist opinions or additional testing confirms or reassesses the diagnosis. From that point, a patient receives a specific course of treatment designed to cure him or her of the condition.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, takes a holistic approach. Rather than focus on treating a specific condition in an exact, proven way, holistic acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system in hopes that nerve activity will have a positive effect on personal well-being. While these claims have not been proven by evidence-based medicine, acupuncture does succeed in stimulating the central nervous system. Many patients have given reports of feeling energized and relaxed as the needles stimulate activity in the brain and spinal cord. This practice may be effective for some back pain patients who suffer from increased muscle tension throughout the neck, shoulders, and spinal column. Stimulating nerves along tensed muscles can promote blood flow, which brings much-needed oxygen and nutrition as well as helps to prevent muscle spasms.
Though the holistic claims made for acupuncture by Eastern medicine may be tempting to take at face value, patients are advised to conduct further testing to ensure they do not have a more serious condition. Back pain patients who experience relief from holistic acupuncture are not likely to have a severe structural defect within the spinal column, but it is important to confirm the diagnosis of back pain with a complete physical exam by a Western physician. Additional imaging tests (x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans, x rays) can reveal if there are underlying structural issues which need to be addressed with more serious treatment.
There is no question that the ability to treat back pain, neck pain, and other types of pain with a variety of modalities is beneficial to the patient. Although traditional Western Medicine is often very beneficial, a more holistic Eastern Medicine approach has a role in the health care system. At the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, a variety of modality and treatment options are available to help patients suffering from low back pain, neck pain, and other pain disorders affecting the body. Expert neurosurgeons at the KBNI utilize non-surgical options when appropriate, often keeping surgical intervention as a measure of last resort, when other conservative methods fail.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX takes care of patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
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