Dampness and Low Back Pain

Clinically, low back pain can be found in many diseases. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Kidneys “express” themselves in the low back.  And, according to Western medicine, when there is pain experienced with percussion of the kidneys , this could be indicative of a problems related to the kidneys, for example: kidneys stones or simply back pain. The involvement of the kidneys is assertained during the extensive intake that an acupuncturist performs.  If there is a more serious condition, a trained acupuncturist will refer out to the appropriate physician.

In this discussion, I would like to introduce the concept of dampness and how this relates to pain.  Dampness means being slightly wet.  This condition can be brought on or exaccerabated by living in a cold and damp place, for instance a house boat or sleeping on a water bed.  I cringe whenever a patient asks me about water pillows.  Yikes, why would any one want to inflict a damp condition on themselves?

Damp type pain is worse or aggravated in rainy weather.  The person will describe the pain as being heavy and stiff.  There may be limited range of motion and the pain may radiate down the buttocks and into the lower legs.

With a damp-type pain it is important not only to address the painful condition, the back pain, but to also address the systemic condition which in this case is dampness.  Within TCM there are specific points used to address the damp condition and these are added to perform a thorough treatment.

This latter point speaks again to why it is so important to use a trained acupuncturist.  There are many healthcare practitioners performing dry needling.  Not only is their training brief, but it does not include treating the systemic and underlying condition. The whole body must be considered when making a diagnosis and treating any condition.




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