Is back pain interfering with your daily life? If you’ve tried every trick in the book and still haven’t made much progress, it may be time for something a little out of the ordinary. Acupuncture and acupressure points designed to stimulate energy flow and ease the pain in the back could be the solution you’ve been looking for! It is both safe and effective and has been known to deliver results. But how does it work and where on your body can you find these pressure points? Here are some answers.
Manipulate Pressure Points To Ease Stiffness And Release Endorphins
Your body has a map of pressure points that a trained practitioner can use to bring you relief from your symptoms. This, in turn, could improve your quality of life. Under traditional acupuncture, applying pressure to these points is thought to stimulate energy flow via channels known as meridians in the body and clear any energy blockages. The body is revitalized and the life force called “Qi” flows freely as a result.
- Working your pressure points whether via acupuncture or acupressure can help with pain relief. It does so by changing the processing of the pain by your spinal cord and brain thanks to the endorphins released.
- If you have inflammation linked to back pain, stiffness, or issues with joint mobility, acupuncture can help with that too.
- It eases any bruising or swelling by boosting circulation.
It can also help improve the results from your conventional treatment like rehab exercises if done as an additional treatment. For most people, this means less dependence on medication for their back problems. That said, do not discontinue your regular medication or treatment without first consulting your doctor.1
Whether you choose to go the acupressure or acupuncture route is a matter of preference as well as need – a consultation with a specialist in the fields should offer clarity on what will help you more. In general, though, acupuncture, which uses a super fine needle to activate the pressure points, tends to trigger a stronger stimulation than acupressure does. With acupressure, a therapist applies firm pressure with their hands to massage the acupoint.2
For best results, a sustained course of such treatments is required. An isolated treatment may help offer temporary relief but the effects may not be long-lasting.3While the science behind reflexology, acupuncture and acupressure points is complex, here is a look at some of the most popularly manipulated points that should help the bulk of people with back pain.
1. LV3 Liver Point Or Tai Chong: For Lower Back Pain And Menstrual Cramp Linked Pain
This pressure point located on the foot can help ease lower back pain, stress, and aches related to menstrual cramps. LV3 stimulation also helps with anxiety and insomnia as well as high blood pressure.
Look for the spot two finger widths from where the skin between the second toe and the big toe meet. You can find it by sliding your finger down along the space between both the toes until you feel the tip of the joint. The pressure point is in the depression that you feel just before your finger makes contact with the bone of your metatarsal joint.
Your therapist will usually apply direct pressure for 4 to 5 seconds at a time.4
2. TE3 Or Zhong Zhu: For Upper Back Pain And Shoulder And Neck Tension
This point is located behind your knuckles and can help ease upper back pain. The therapist will stimulate the point in the groove between your 4th and 5th fingers (in the area behind your knuckles). It is also called the Central Islet.
Therapists stimulate the point to ease temporal headaches. It is also good for relieving shoulder and neck tension. Again, pressure is applied for 4 to 5 seconds at a time.5
3. SI15 Or Jian Zhong Shu: For Shoulder And Back Pain
This acupuncture point is effective against back pain linked to cervical spondylosis, a condition that causes pain from wear and tear of your bone and cartilage in the cervical spine or neck region.6 It can be used to alleviate shoulder pain and back pain as well. SI15 is located in the middle shoulder area and will have to be stimulated by a therapist as it is located on the back.7
4. UB62 Or Shen Mai: For Lumbar Pain
This pressure point located on the foot helps with lumbar or lower back pain as well as neck rigidity. It is located posterior and inferior to the bony projection that juts out at your ankles.
It is believed to be especially useful for any kind of back or neck pain problems when combined with stimulation of the SI3 pressure point.8 The SI3, also known as Hou Xi, is a pressure point located near the head of the 5th metacarpal bone (the intermediate bones on your hand) on the ulnar side when your hand is balled into a loose fist.9
5. B49 Or Yi She: For Sciatica, Lower Back, And Sacral Pain
This point is located on the outer back. Working on the B49 pressure point is beneficial for those with any kind of lumbar or lower back pain as well as sacral (lower back and hip) pain. If you are struggling with sciatica, a session of therapy that includes this point could help.10
6. G30 Or Jumping Round Point: For Lower Back Pain And Sciatica
The G30 pressure point not only eases the pain in the hip and buttocks but also helps alleviate lower back pain and sciatica.11 It is located by moving to the area three-quarters of the way into the gluteal muscles from the center of the sacrum, the large wedge-shaped bone that sits at the end of your spine.
7. GV14 Or Dazhui: For Neck Pain And Stiffness In The Back And Shoulder
This pressure point is located on your upper back at shoulder level in the midline of your back. It can help with stiffness in the back and neck pain. It can also help when you experience pain in the area to the back of your shoulder.12 It also helps with neck pain and symptoms of cervical spondylosis.13
Note: If you suffer from a slip disc, sprain, or strain, or have a broken back, do consult a professional before trying these out.
|↑1||Back pain. British Acupuncture Council.|
|↑2||What is the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?. UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.|
|↑3||Acupuncture. National Health Service.|
|↑4||Acupressure Point LV3: Liver 3 or Tai Chong. UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.|
|↑5||Acupressure Point TE3: Triple Energizer 3 or Zhong Zhu.UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.|
|↑6, ↑13||Liang, Zhao-Hui, Zhong Di, Shuo Jiang, Shu-Jun Xu, Xiao-Ping Zhu, Wen-Bin Fu, and Ai-Ping Lu. “The optimized acupuncture treatment for neck pain caused by cervical spondylosis: a study protocol of a multicentre randomized controlled trial.” Trials 13, no. 1 (2012): 107.|
|↑7||SI-15 (Jian Zhong Shu). Alberta College of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine.|
|↑8||UB-62 (Shen Mai). Alberta College of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine.|
|↑9||Acupuncture Point: Small Intestine 3. Acupuncture Technology News.|
|↑10, ↑11||Melzack, Ronald, Dorothy M. Stillwell, and Elisabeth J. Fox. “Trigger points and acupuncture points for pain: correlations and implications.” Pain 3, no. 1 (1977): 3-23.|
|↑12||GV14 (Dazhui): Big Vertebrae-Central Reunion Point. Acupuncture Today.|