Back Pain / Sciatica: What is it
Back pain (Osphialgia in Greek) -from the words osphis (lumbar) and algos (pain)- or lumbago, we call the pain in the waist area, up to the thigh fold. When it reflects on the lower extremity due to pressure of a nerve, or of the nerve’s root, then we are talking about the symptom of Sciatica.
Osphialgia (Back pain) as well as Sciatica are not diseases, they are symptoms that can be due to various diseases.
The spine is the main support organ of the body, and support of nervous function. It consists of 32 vertebrae that are distinguished in cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrococcygeal, and allow upright posture. Between the vertebral bodies are the strong and elastic intervertebral discs. They have a role that resembles that of a shock absorber, for shock absorption. This is exactly how bending and stretching movements are allowed.
Back Pain / Sciatica: Causes
Sciatica is the result of a hernia of the intervertebral disc i.e. the displacement of a part of the nucleus of the intervertebral disc backwards, at a point where it exerts pressure on a nerve root, of the sciatic nerve.
Back pain is the most common cause of temporary incapacity for work. It is blamed for about 25% of temporary disabilities and 40% of permanent disabilities, which is why special attention is given to its prevention, worldwide. It is more common in the 4th and 5th decade of life, and is usually due to degeneration of the lower lumbar spaces, which are the most kinetic.
95 % of the population will experience an episode of Backache or Sciatica in their lifetime. It is the 2nd most common cause of neurological pathology in the United States. Americans spend at least $50 billion a year on this condition called “Back pain.”
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spine acquires special significance even beyond the usual dynamic estimation. It contains the spinal cord which is the main neural pathway that connects the brain to the rest of the body; at the same time, participates in the conversion of Jing to Qi and then to Shen, which is responsible for the mental stability of the individual. This is also the explanation of certain pains in this anatomical area, which are understood -although there are no anatomical alterations-, due to the conflict between the will and the ability of the individual, in daily life.
Back Pain / Sciatica: The Effect of Medical Acupuncture
Acupuncture (Traditional Chinese Medicine) works by inserting and handling ultra-thin needles in specific areas of the skin. Recent studies have shown that Acupuncture creates an electrical stimulation, which intervenes in the painful areas, resulting the termination of pain. In addition to achieving analgesia, Acupuncture also has an anti-inflammatory effect, and contributes to neuroendocrine regulation, through its action in the psycho-emotional sphere.
In the treatment of chronic pain, Acupuncture is effective in 65% – 85% of patients. According to research, the elimination of pain through Acupuncture, is long-term, and more important clinically, when compared with conventional medication.
Back pain treatment starts with 2 sessions per week, followed by 6 sessions once a week, for a total of 12 treatments/sessions.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O) has included low back pain in diseases, symptoms or conditions for which Acupuncture has been proven (through controlled clinical trials) to be an effective treatment.
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