Acupuncture: indications for the treatment of the spine and contraindications

Acupuncture habit is called in popular science literature one of the unconventional methods of treatment. But now it is already so widely used that it is difficult to say that it is not treated with its help.

However, in China, where acupuncture originated as a science and from where it spread throughout the world, they say that a skilled doctor with the help of thin needles can cure a person from any disease.

Acupuncture is also used in the treatment of spinal protrusions.

Between osteochondrosis and hernia

If everyone is familiar with acupuncture at least in general terms, then the word “protrusion” must be explained. What is it?

Protrusion is a protrusion of the disc into the vertebral canal, while the fibrous ring, although deformed, does not lose its integrity. We can not say that this is an independent disease.

Rather, it is a pathological borderline between the initial stages of osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia. By the way, one should not confuse protrusion with a hernia, these are different things.

With the protrusion of the intervertebral disc, the blood vessels and nerve endings are compressed in the tissues surrounding the spinal column.

As a result, the blood supply to the spine is impaired and the person experiences severe pain that can radiate to various parts of the body and organs.

According to the focus of the spread of pathology, it can be divided into protrusions:

The treatment regimen depends largely on where the protrusions originated. But in general, treatment can be:

In the vast majority of cases, protrusions are treated conservatively, using a combination of different methods:

Acupuncture acupuncture is used, as a rule, in combination with other methods:

Acupuncture is especially effective in protrusion of the cervical spine, as if a spinal tissue is deformed in this place, other methods cannot always be fully applied, and some cannot be applied at all.

For example, stretching the spine under the weight of your own body on a horizontal bar or a crossbar on the cervical region does not work, only on the thoracic and lumbar spine.

Acupuncture for Spinal Pathologies: Pros and Cons

This method of treatment has won itself admirers. There are many centers where acupuncture is the main method of treatment.

But at the same time, doctors of official medicine quite rightly point out that although there is some benefit from this treatment, there is no laboratory evidence of the 100% effectiveness of this technique. Therefore, it makes sense to understand at least on a specific case.

The essence of reflexology is that the specialist acts on the biologically active points of the human body. Impacts may vary.

So, during acupuncture, the reflexologist can work on the needles with his hands, slightly twisting them and changing the depth of immersion in the tissue.

When using a more modern version with the connection of a source of weak electrical impulses to the needles, this causes certain vibrations, the frequency of which can be tuned by hardware. Different frequencies of vibrations have a different effect on the fabric.

Acupuncture has a beneficial effect:

  • stimulates regenerative processes
  • restores blood circulation and muscle tone
  • relieves pain.

It is imperative to stop acute pain and reduce inflammatory processes before starting treatment. Most often this is done with the help of drugs.

There are other contraindications to acupuncture for pathologies of mezvertebral disks:

  • age over 70 years
  • pregnancy,
  • lactation,
  • history of oncology,
  • bleeding disorders,
  • severe infectious diseases (tuberculosis, AIDS and others),
  • mechanical damage to the skin or dermatological diseases in places where you need to put needles.

What is it - acupuncture

In Chinese medicine, this method of treatment has been used for many centuries. He came to the countries of Europe, the USA and Canada not so long ago - in the 50s of the twentieth century.

If we talk about the energy essence of acupuncture, it consists in influencing the constantly circulating vital energy of Qi by introducing thin steel needles into specific points on the human body.

Thus, the flow of energy is regulated to improve the condition of the patient.

Acupuncture is officially recognized as a therapeutic method by the World Health Organization (WHO). The list of diseases for which it is recommended, according to clinical trials, consists of 28 items. Scientists also note that when a needle is exposed to specific points on the skin, an instantaneous reflex response of the corresponding internal organs occurs. His strength and character can be controlled. This is how various diseases are treated with acupuncture.

The mechanism of therapeutic effects

If we ignore energy flows and speak the language of dry medical facts, the mechanism of acupuncture effects on the human body is as follows:

    Pain is reduced by stimulating the production of special substances in the body that affect the emotional state of the person and his perception of pain - endorphins and enkephalins - endogenous opiates with a general analgesic effect.

  • Stimulated release into the blood - cortisol, which has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Microcirculation improves and arterial and venous blood circulation is normalized. Tissues are swelling away, regeneration processes are launched.
  • The synthesis of serotonin is activated, under the influence of which mood and well-being are improved, there is a surge of strength. In addition, the sedative effect of serotonin increases the effectiveness of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • The muscle tone is normalized, the spasms of paravertebral (paravertebral) muscles disappear.
  • Indications for use of acupuncture

      According to WHO research, acupuncture is indicated for the following diseases:

  • allergic rhinitis (including hay fever),
  • biliary colic,
  • different types of depression
  • dysentery, acute bacteriosis,
  • primary disorders of the menstrual cycle,
  • diseases of the stomach (ulcer, spasms, acute and chronic gastritis),
  • strokes
  • facial pains
  • headaches
  • primary hypertension and hypotension,
  • leukopenia,
  • shoulder arthritis,
  • renal colic,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • inflammation of the sciatic nerve,
  • sprains,
  • inflammation of the elbow muscle tendon.
  • Acupuncture is effective for instant blocking of pain in the spine and joints, postoperative and dental pain. It can be used to eliminate the adverse effects of radio and chemotherapy for cancer: nausea, vomiting, dry mouth. It is very popular and effective to use acupuncture for weight loss.

    Acupuncture for spinal hernia and osteochondrosis

    The effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of diseases caused by degenerative-dystrophic processes (in osteochondrosis, spondylosis, spinal hernias and intervertebral disc protrusions) has been clinically proven, which is confirmed by numerous patient reviews. It perfectly helps in relieving pain during radiculitis or in case of pinching and inflammation of the nerve roots due to the pronounced analgesic and anti-inflammatory action.

    The obvious advantages of acupuncture how therapies for similar diseases are as follows:

    1. any allergic reaction is excluded, as the medicines are not used,
    2. there are practically no side effects, and the list of contraindications to treatment is very short,
    3. Acupuncture uses only the body’s own protective and restorative reserves,
    4. the procedure is almost painless,
    5. Acupuncture session lasts only 20-30 minutes.

    Positive changes come after the first exposure. A lasting effect provides a course of ten to fifteen sessions. They can be held every other day or every day.

    When treating spinal hernias, it is worth considering that acupuncture will be more effective if the patient is less than 50 years old. In other cases, it is necessary to develop an individual exposure program; method of moxotherapy - heating needles with the help of burning pyramids from medicinal herbs.

    Acupuncture: contraindications and complications

    Acupuncture is the most benign option for providing medical care for back pain and diseases of the spine. However, acupuncture for a large list of indications has its own contraindications.

    Can not be applied acupuncture for:

    • fever
    • infectious diseases
    • presence of malignant and benign tumors,
    • severe depletion of the body
    • postinfarction condition
    • hypertensive crisis,
    • pregnancy
    • a state of narcotic trance and alcoholic intoxication.

    This method of treatment does not have serious side effects, provided that the effect is an experienced specialist. To reduce their likelihood, before starting the course, it is necessary to inform the doctor about which medications and physiotherapeutic procedures are applied in parallel with acupuncture. Immediately before the session itself follows:

    1. give up sports
    2. do not receive intravenous injections of drugs,
    3. take a small amount of food, preferring light dishes without spices,
    4. empty your bladder.

    Women are not recommended to use acupuncture during menstruation.

    Other side effects include:

    • fracture or curvature of the needle for acupuncture,
    • hematoma formation,
    • bleeding at the injection site due to rupture of small vessels.

    Since disposable needles from medical steel are used for acupuncture, infection of the skin and deep tissues is practically impossible.

    The efficacy and safety of this method of therapy depends on how experienced and talented the acupuncture specialist is. The most reasonable option is to apply for this kind of treatment in certified medical centers or public medical institutions.

    Protrusion in oriental medicine

    1. Protrusion - the energy problem!

    In Tibetan medicine, protrusion is considered as a disease of the Wind - the nervous system Rlung. This is indicated by its characteristic symptoms - pain, numbness, tingling and goosebumps, feeling cold in the arm, leg, physical weakness in the limb, functional disorders of the genitourinary system, decreased potency and libido, headaches, dizziness, paralysis and paresis. In the Tibetan treatise Zhud Shi, these symptoms are signs of a disorder of the Rlung system, or Wind. The best methods of treating such diseases are acupuncture and Tibetan acupressure.

    On the other hand, Tibetan medicine treats osteochondrosis and prolapse of discs as cold diseases associated with the Bad Can, or Mucus system. This is explained by the fact that the doctor acts not only and even not so much on pain and other symptoms, but on the cause of the disease. And the cause of osteochondrosis and protrusion is a violation of the processes of metabolism and renewal in the intervertebral discs. It is accompanied by dehydration, exhaustion and destruction of connective tissues. Metabolism, body fluids and connective tissues are responsible for the system Slime, or Bad Can. One of the best methods of treating diseases of this system is moxotherapy.

    2. To treat not pain, but its source.

    One of the rules of Tibetan medicine is “to treat not where it hurts, but where the pain comes from”. In the case of protrusion, this is especially true. Bulging of the disc usually leads to pinching of the nerve root or spinal cord. In the first case, the pain can spread far along the nerve and be felt in the heart or chest, buttock, leg. It is useless to treat the heart in spinal diseases.

    Protrusion can be manifested by headaches, disruption of the internal organs, such as the gastrointestinal tract. It is useless to treat headaches with tablets, if their cause is disc prolapse in the cervical or thoracic region.

    3. Causes of symptoms.

    Bulging of the disc occurs for two reasons, which act simultaneously. This is a strong squeezing of the disk, that is, increased loads. And nutritional deficiencies. In the first case, the main role is played by a sedentary lifestyle and excess weight; therefore, protrusions are most often formed in the lumbar region.

    In the second case, the main factor is muscle spasms. They interfere with the flow of blood to the spinal discs, squeeze blood vessels and disrupt the delivery of building material for the renewal of connective tissues - collagen. The liver is involved in the synthesis of this material. Low activity or “cold” of the liver is another factor in the development of osteochondrosis and disc protrusions.

    Due to the action of all these factors, the spinal discs are gradually crushed - they become dense, dry and flat. Their edges begin to protrude beyond the spinal column. These protrusions mean protrusions. When this occurs, pinching of the nerve roots. These are the roots of the nerves that move away from the spinal cord to control the work of the internal organs, muscle contractions, movements of the arms and legs. Jamming causes pain.

    Protrusions most often occur in the lumbosacral region, so they are manifested by such pain syndromes as sciatica, lumbar sciatica, lumbago, lumbodynia.

    The pain occurs both at the site of pinching and along the nerve. For example, protrusion in the thoracic region causes pain in the ribs, which is aggravated by inhalation - intercostal neuralgia. Prolapse of the disc in the lumbosacral region causes pain in the buttock. The pain of pinching the nerve root causes a sharp contraction of the muscles - a spasm that squeezes the blood vessels. When the cervical artery is squeezed, the blood begins to flow worse to the brain. Hence, such symptoms of cervical protrusion as headaches, tinnitus, dizziness, instability of pressure.

    Compression of the nerve root or spinal cord disrupts the transmission of motor signals, which leads to insufficient muscle contraction, paralysis or paresis in the leg or arm, physical weakness of the fingers, toes. At the same time, the transmission of sensitive signals along the nerve fibers becomes difficult, and numbness in the fingers, foot or foot occurs.

    The pinching of the nerve causes inflammation, so protrusion is a common cause of radiculitis (lumbar, cervical, thoracic). Prolonged pinching leads to atrophy of nerve tissue. In this case, the consequences may be irreversible. Therefore, it is better not to risk it and rather to start treatment. Facts about us

    • The Tibet Clinic is the clinical base of the First Moscow State Medical University named after IM Sechenov of the Ministry of Health of Russia (Sechenov University)
    • Clinic "Tibet" - the winner of the prestigious European award "Aurora Health & Beauty", the winner in the nomination "The Best Clinic of Oriental Medicine"

    Stage 1 (pain relief, diagnosis)

    The usual reason for seeking help at the Tibet clinic where protrusions are treated is acute, shooting through or aching, constant pain in the back, neck or lower back, intercostal neuralgia, pain in the buttock, and not passing headaches.

    Remove the acute pain can quickly. From one to two or three acupuncture sessions in combination with osteopathy or Tibetan massage is enough for this. More serious treatment at this stage can not begin. First you need to make sure that this is a protrusion, and not an intervertebral hernia.

    The physician should know the size of the prolapse, be sure that there is no rupture of the fibrous ring and preservation of the disc structure, the absence of spinal stenosis, contraindications to acupressure and manual therapy. For this, he prescribes an MRI. But before that, the doctor conducts a primary examination.

    After questioning the nature of the complaints, he probes his back along the spine from the waist to the neck. By pressing the points along the spine, the doctor determines the painful areas, areas of spasms, muscle tension. After receiving additional MRI data, the doctor draws up a treatment program.

    • In the clinic "Tibet" - there is a FREE initial consultation, at which the doctor will diagnose and report a plan for the treatment of disc protrusion in your case!
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    What you need to remember

    The main thing with acupuncture treatment is the right choice of a specialist.

    If the reflexologist is not experienced enough, then, for example, conventional acupuncture during protrusion of the lumbar spine with an incorrectly placed needle can turn into a strong spasm of a number of muscles and immobilize the patient.

    Signs of an incorrectly set needle:

    • acute persistent pain
    • muscle spasm.

    When the needle is correctly set, the painful sensations are insignificant, warmth, tingling, slight numbness can be felt.

    Before you resort to the services of a doctor, do not hesitate to inquire about his license. In addition, an experienced doctor will never begin treatment without examining your medical history and without looking at X-rays of the spine.

    The best option is to be treated in a specialized center, where acupuncture is one of the methods of complex therapy. As a rule, it is a guarantee of quality.

    A selection of my useful materials on the health of the spine and joints, which I recommend you to look at:

    Also look at a lot of useful additional materials in my communities and accounts on social networks:

    2nd stage (reduction of prolapse of the disk)

    Reduction and elimination of disk prolapse is achieved by influencing the causes of its formation - this is an increased load and poor blood supply. The duration of the treatment session is usually 1.5 hours.

    As a rule, the session begins with acupuncture. The patient removes outerwear and lies on the couch, face down. Thin disposable, sterile needles are inserted into bioactive points according to an individual scheme along the spine, in the arms, legs, neck, shoulders and left for 10-20 minutes. After that, they are removed, the patient turns over onto his back, and an acupuncture session is conducted on the bioactive points of the chest, abdomen, and anterior surface of the legs. Due to this, not only the area of ​​the spine is studied, but also the whole system of body meridians. In particular, the functioning of the nervous system and the liver, the organ on which collagen production depends, is improved.

    For complex effects, combinations of Eastern medicine methods are used:

    Relieves acute or chronic pain when a nerve is pinched by a disc, reduces inflammation and swelling around a squeezed root. It relieves tension and improves blood circulation in the protrusion area, eliminates numbness and restores sensitivity, muscle strength in the fingers, leg. Eliminates pain along the nerve - in the buttock, chest, heart area, as well as headache.

    It is applied on pain points along the spine. The doctor deeply relaxes tense muscles, removes spasms, restores the patency of blood vessels and improves blood flow to the spine and blood circulation.

    Stimulates and accelerates the recovery of intervertebral discs, improves metabolism, activates the renewal of connective tissues. The effect of heat relaxes muscles, increases blood flow, increases the effect of acupuncture and acupressure.

    For the treatment of protrusion of the spinal discs, stone therapy with heated stones is used. They are laid out along the back and are deeply heated, relax muscles, eliminate tension, improve blood circulation.

    The setting of therapeutic leeches removes congestion in the spine, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation and has an additional analgesic effect. Helps to eliminate vascular edema, stimulate the recovery process.

    Staging glass, rubber cans or plastic cans with a magnetic core, massage with glass cans - these methods relieve muscle tension, accelerate blood and improve the functioning of blood vessels, activate the flow and outflow of blood, work of the lymphatic system, help speed up the metabolism and recovery of disks.

    Reduces the load on the intervertebral discs, eliminates their compression, increases the height of the gaps between the vertebrae. Gently pulling the spine, the doctor eliminates the compression of the nerve roots and relieves pain, improves the passage of nerve impulses and signals, blood circulation.

    Along with these main methods, our doctors use various massage techniques, shock wave therapy, kinesiology, craniosacral or structural osteopathy. Why us?

    • Treatment of disc protrusion in the clinic of Tibet is carried out by more than 30 doctors with higher medical education, who are fluent in the methods of Oriental medicine.
      Our specialists.

    Denial of responsibility

    The information in the articles is intended solely for general information and should not be used for self-diagnosis of health problems or for medical purposes. This article is not a substitute for medical advice from a doctor (neurologist, therapist). Please consult your doctor first to know exactly the cause of your health problem.

    All about disk protrusion

    The two main stages of the formation of a herniated disc are:

    ● Protrusion (bulging) of discs
    ● Prolapse (rupture of the outer shell and loss of the disk).

    As can be understood from the classification, a hernia is easier to treat in the first stage than in the second. Protrusion can occur in several parts of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar. All disorders in these areas have similar symptoms that are located in certain parts of the body:

    ● The cervical region is affected: soreness in the neck, arm, weakness in the arm, elbow, numbness, stiffness, tingling of the upper limbs,
    ● The thoracic region is affected: discomfort and pain in the middle of the back, abdomen, intercostal space, discomfort, tingling, weakness in the chest, abdomen, back,
    ● Lumbar region affected: sciatica in the lumbosacral region, pain and stiffness in the back, numbness, tingling in the legs, muscle weakness, in rare cases - problems with urination.

    Of course, speaking of diseases of the spine, it is impossible not to say about the possible causes. This is, first of all, a sedentary lifestyle, static stresses with the monotony of the body position (sedentary work, for example), an underdeveloped muscle corset, injuries, microtraumas, as well as inevitable age-related changes.

    How to treat protrusion?

    At the first symptoms of the disease, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor who will prescribe a course of treatment. As one of the important components of this course, sessions of reflexology, osteopathy or other non-drug methods of treatment will help to quickly achieve the desired effect. In the clinic of Eastern and Osteopathic medicine "Amrita" our specialists offer assistance in combating the protrusion of intervertebral discs in several directions at once:

    ● Acupressure,
    ● Acupuncture,
    ● Hirudotherapy
    ● Various manual techniques, Kinesiotherapy
    Stone therapy
    Vacuum therapy
    ● And much more.


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