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Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions Newsletter   Providing Natural Health Care for the Entire Family
Issue #2017-3b

Low Back Pain Help Sheet

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common health conditions. It's estimated that about 80 percent of the population will experience LBP at least once in the life. There is rising trend of low back pain; a 14-year study showed an increase from 3.9 percent in 1992 to 10.2 percent increase in LBP from 1992 to 2006. (Freburger, 2009). Low back pain is the most common cause of lost work days and the second most common cause of disability.

Acupuncture has been found to be effective for relieving low back pain in a meta-analysis of research (Manheimer, 2005 and Vickers, 2012).

Why avoid the pharmacological fix for pain?
It's wise to avoid the use of prescription pain pills as well as over the counter pills, such as NSAIDs to cope with your low back pain. Aside from being addictive, opioids have been found to create hyperalgesia, an increase in pain. NSAIDs have been found to increase the risk of stroke. Try acupuncture instead to relieve and prevent low back pain.

Home Care
Choosing a few points for low back pain is challenging because there are many: finding the best points for you will depend on your pattern diagnosis. Ask your acupuncturist for pattern-specific points for home acupressure. And also look for sore points in these areas that are easily accessible to anyone when having low back pain.

Hand acupressure: There are so many points in the hand the benefit back pain that you could just notice where your hand also happens to be aching and that is likely the point you need. Choose from Li 4, or Ling Gu, Si 3 or Si 4.

Try this self-hand massage. Women begin on the left side wrist, men begin on the right side wrist. Cross one hand above the top of the other hand with the crossing pinkie finger pressing below the knuckle of the bottom pinkie, press off the bone into the indentation. Si 3. Press gently due to the sensitive ulnar nerve at this point. This point opens up and relaxes the whole spine. Next: In this hand position your index finger should be in the center of the joint that moves your hand (pinkie toward the elbow), Si 4. This point helps relax the sacrum and pelvic floor. Now flip both hands, palm up with the crossing hand below. Feel for three possible tender areas along the metacarpal of the index finger, below the knuckle and into the joint with the thumb. Feel for tenderness @ Li 4 (the center of the bone) or Ling Gu.

Bathtub Yoga
Even yoga novices can benefit from this easy yoga therapy for low back pain while taking a bath!

You will need:
* Epsom salts (3 cups)
* Essential Oil: Add one drop of Lavender essential oil in epsom salt before adding to water.
* Waterproof ear plugs

Bath tub
Fill the tub high with warm water to your desired temperature preference dissolving the Lavender Epsom salt in the water while filling the tub.

Put earplugs in because you will be laying down in the bathtub with your legs up and out of the tub, feet on the wall or the bathtub ledge. Your body will be floating in the water with just your nose and nostrils and possibly a little more of your face out of the water.

While you float you are going to focus on deep breathing and unwinding your body. You can also slowly do little micro movements with hips and low back with the breath to relax tension in the body. Micro movements are small motions that activate the small muscles closest to the skeleton. These motions are simple and easy for anyone to do and they are very effective for relaxing muscular holding patterns that cause muscles spasms and pain.

You can skip the bathtub get into the same sort of position: Lay on the floor, knees bent with feet up on a wall or couch and follow the above instructions.

Tips: Support your body with props, something under the legs and/or neck can help relieve pressure and make the pose more restorative. Plus: it helps if you turn your palms up to open the shoulders and relax the chest.

There are many yoga poses that are very helpful for low back pain . If you are new to yoga, please seek a teacher that inspires you.

Aroma Analgesia Essential Oil lotion blend: Birch, lavender, chamomile (roman or blue): place one drop of each oil in some lotion and rub lotion into low back, hips, belly, legs and feet.

Core Strength: Low back pain is often connected to a weak core. Spend 20-40 minutes two-three times per week doing exercises to strengthen your core, this will bene fit your back.


Top Foods to Eat & Avoid for Preventing Low Back Pain

If you want to experience a pain free back and prevent back pain in the future, the diet is key.  Start eating these foods daily to reduce low back pain fast and for good:
High fiber foods - Constipation can make back pain worse, so eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which are high in fiber.
Water - Drink 8 glasses of water daily as dehydration can increase back pain.
Potassium rich foods - Potassium reduces swelling. Include potassium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, coconut water and cultured dairy.
Omega-3 fats - Wild-caught fish and flaxseed are high in omega-3s that reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
Clean lean protein - Choose chicken, turkey, or lean meats to provide your body with adequate protein to maintain muscle and bone health.
Back Pain Foods to Avoid when You Have Low Back Pain
Sugar - Sugar is pro-inflammatory and increases pain.
Alcohol - This also worsens inflammation.
Caffeine - Caffeine is dehydrating and may increase inflammation. Limit yourself to no more than one cup of coffee daily or cut back completely if you can.
Trans fats - These fats increase inflammation and pain.
Excess calories - Being overweight exacerbates back pain.

The information contained within the  newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is  not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health  care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult  a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before  starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
Monthly Acupuncture Column Featured in SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine 
Toni Eatros, AP,
Acupuncture Physician, 
is the  featured acupuncture columnist in the popular SW Florida's Health & Wellness Magazine.

Be sure to check out March's issue, about
An Alternative Approach to the Treatment of Diarrhea and Loose Stools
Click the link to view February's Article: Are Anacids the Best Way to Treat Heartburn and GERD?

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