How many sessions of acupuncture do you need for back pain?

by Dr. Alexandre Hillairet, D.A.O.M Doctor / Practitioner

Introduction:

It is very common patients asking us about the number of sessions that it will take to treat the pain. We can't never provide an answer.

Cortisone shot and surgery.

When a patient receive a cortisone shot or undergo a surgery, there is a 50% chance that the procedure will be successful. Some patients have reduced symptoms for a month sometimes or more but then they have to start all over again when the effects start fading away.

Sometimes, the pain is so intense that it might be better to start with a cortisone shot but it is not always the case. Unfortunately, a cortisone shot is only a bandaid and it is not fixing the problem. Sometimes, patient have the feeling that they have been cured so they are doing many activities all at once and it makes their condition worse.

Acupuncture:

We often see patients coming to the clinic that are unable to walk. Those patients choose acupuncture and they trust the process and they know there are no side effects.

We are currently working with a patient who hurt her back while exercising. This patient has a low back injury's history. The patient started her therapy a couple of weeks ago when she couldn't walk at all and she couldn't sleep. Now, she can walk 4,000 steps before the pain starts increasing and she can sleep throughout the night. Her therapy is far from being over but within the next couple of weeks the recovery should be about 50%.

Cortisone shot vs Acupuncture:

Cortisone might create an instant relief and the patient might go back to a normal life thinking the condition is cured but the patient might further injure the lower back while doing activities.

Acupuncture can create sometimes instant results as well. It usually takes time for the full recovery to occur. The duration is based on the injury. During the recovery process, we can monitor the progress with activities. We can closely observe which activities are comfortable and which ones are causing more pain. It gives us a better understanding about the condition and the patient. 

Conclusion:

Pain is a challenge and we are doing our best to provide a safe recovery. The human body is a map and it guides us to provide the most accurate treatment without any side effects.

Cortisone shot and surgeries have many side effects and we believe if the condition is not an emergency, it should be treated slowly with a non invasive therapy. Acupuncture should be the first procedure to reduce pain because it is safe and it doesn't have any side effects.