The Oriental Medicine Treatment of Low Back Pain & Sciatica
Chief Complaint: lumbago (lower back pain) and sciatica on the left side
Western Diagnosis: lumbago, sciatica
Medical History: Patient is a 49 year old Caucasian female that has lumbago and occasional sciatica on the left side which is chronic (for 4-5 years) but can vary in intensity depending on various factors. Bloating and flatulence are an ongoing problem as is chronic sinus congestion, bad breath, vaginal discharge, depression, PMS and sore throats. Patient works for a legal firm as an a paralegal and has to work overtime weekly. She is Divorced with 2 younger children and 1 older child. Patient usually has only coffee and a bagel for breakfast, fast food for lunch and eats a late dinner past 8 o’clock in the evening. She lists chocolate as one of her favorite foods and she does light exercises (e.g walking) about 1 hour a week. Most of her free time is spent with her children and family events. She rarely has any “alone-time.”
Questioning exam: Most Q&As are derived from Patient’s Medical History Questionnaire which was required to fill out at the beginning of the her treatments. She had an Osteopathic structural exam which revealed multiple areas of somatic dysfunction involving cranial, cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, pelvic and lower extremities including a short leg and pronation of her feet.
Trigger points are found in the quadratus lumborum, psoas, piriformis and gluteus minimus. A petrojugular dislocation of the left temporal bone is discovered during cranial motion examination. It is found that the patient forgot about a whiplash accident in her early twenties which is remembered after persistent questioning from this doctor who recognized a whiplash pattern in her cranial rhythm. An MRI done last year had shown some slight posterior bulging of her lumbar discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels without any evidence of spinal chord compression or foraminal encroachment. Mild degenerative joint disease was noted throughout the lumbar region.
Symptoms that she want to relieve with Acupuncture are pain in left side (sciatica) and lumbago (lower back pain).
Pulse exam: Patient’s pulses are mostly slippery with kidney and spleen positions weak
and gallbladder excess.
Tongue exam: Her tongue is wet, pale and flabby with teeth-print marked edges. There is a thick white greasy coat primarily in the middle and lower burner areas of the tongue.
OM Diagnosis: Her Lower back pain (lumbago) and Sciatica are mostly from deficiency of Spleen and Kidney Qi and to the exposure to perverse cold. Rationale: Because her lower back pains get worse during humid weather and sometimes radiates down to the thigh and left leg.
Treatment Principle: The first step in treating her pains is to resolve the phlegm and dampness by selecting both local and distal points. 9 acupoints were selected, using electrical stimulation and infrared lamp added on to the stimulating needles.
Point Prescription: GB2, GB4, GB30, UB23, UB31, UB40, UB52, ST36, SP6
Herbal Formula: Two bottles of Chinese formula herbs which resolve phlegm and dampness and that strengthen spleen and kidney Qi are recommended to the patient, they are taken 3 pills / time, 2 times a day.
Lifestyle Prescription: Besides acupuncture and herbs, we recommended her to avoid all foods, spices and chemicals that were found to create adverse reactions. An anticandida or a “zone” diet would be instituted. She would take therapeutic doses of the nutrients found lacking on her Spectracell analysis. We also suggested an exercise program that would encourage stretching the tight areas and strengthening the weak areas would be a must. The patient is encouraged to work with a Biofeedback, Tai-Chi, Qigong, and other mind/ body therapies might be helpful for additional stress management.
Results: After 1 course of acupuncture (10 sessions) treatment, the patient is completely pain-free and discharged from the treatment.
Synopsis: A patient suffering lumbago and sciatica problems for 4-5 years came to Ace Acupuncture for 10 acupuncture sessions where I relieved all of her pains with a combination of acupuncture needlework and herbal treatment.