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Viscerosomatic Reflex

Dr. Jimenez DC presents clinical implications of the viscerosomatic reflex.

In today’s big data informational era, there are many disorders, diseases, and clinical presentations that demonstrate concomitant associations, coincidences, correlations, causations, overlapping profiles, overlapping risk profiles, co-morbidities, and risks of associated disorders that clinically intermingle in presentations and outcomes.

To this point, assessing the viscerosomatic dysfunction and somatovisceral disorders is of paramount importance in order to get a full clinical picture affecting patients.

The clinician is mandated by the depth of our present clinical understandings and our oath to our patients to see the complete clinical picture within these integrated clinical paradigms and to treat accordingly.

Somatic dysfunction is defined as the “impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system: skeletal, arthrodial, and myofascial structures, and related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements.”

A viscerosomatic reflex is the resultant of the effect of afferent stimuli arising from a visceral disorder on the somatic tissues. The reflex is initiated by afferent impulses from visceral receptors; these impulses are transmitted to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, where they synapse with interconnecting neurons. These, in turn, convey the stimulus to sympathetic and peripheral motor efferents, thus resulting in sensory and motor changes in somatic tissues of skeletal muscle, viscera, blood vessels, and skin.

As an example only, visceral afferents play an important part in the maintenance of internal equilibrium and the related mutual adjustments of visceral function. They are also responsible for the conduction of pain impulses that may be caused by distention of a viscus, anoxia (particularly of muscle), irritating metabolites, stretching or crushing of blood vessels, irritation of the peritoneum, contraction of muscular walls, and distention of the capsule of a solid organ.” Because pain-sensitive nerve end- ings are not numerous in viscera, pain sensation or a visceral reflex response may result from the combined input of several different types of receptors rather than as a specific response to a particular receptor. A variety of visceral receptors have been mucosal and epithelial receptors, which respond to mechanical and epithelial stimuli; tension receptors in the visceral muscle layers, which respond to mechanical distention, such as the degree of filling; serosal receptors, which are slow adapting mechanoreceptors in mesentery or
serosa and which monitor visceral fullness; Pacinian corpuscles in mesentery and pain receptors; and free nerve endings in viscera and blood vessels.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Viscerosomatic+pathophysiology

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?linkname=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=32644644

General Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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Acupuncture for Reducing Joint Pain in Lupus: A Natural Approach

Acupuncture for Reducing Joint Pain in Lupus: A Natural Approach

Can individuals dealing with joint pain incorporate acupuncture therapy to manage lupus symptoms and restore body mobility?

Introduction

The immune system is highly important to the body as its main job is to protect vital structures from foreign invaders that can cause pain-like issues and discomfort. The immune system has a healthy relationship with the different body systems, including the musculoskeletal system, as the inflammatory cytokines help heal muscle and tissue damage when the body is injured. Over time, however, when normal environmental and genetic factors start to develop in the body, the immune system will begin to send out these cytokines to healthy, normal cells. To that point, the body starts at risk of developing autoimmune diseases. Now, autoimmune diseases in the body can cause havoc over time when they are not managed, leading to chronic disorders that can cause overlapping symptoms in the musculoskeletal system. One of the most common autoimmune diseases is systemic lupus erythematosus or lupus, and it can cause a person to be in consistent pain and discomfort while correlating with muscle and joint pain. Today’s article looks at the factors and effects of lupus, the burden of joint pain in lupus, and how holistic approaches like acupuncture can help manage lupus while restoring body mobility. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how to minimize the pain effects caused by lupus on the joints. We also inform and guide patients on how acupuncture can help manage lupus and combine other therapies to reduce its pain-like symptoms affecting the musculoskeletal system. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating acupuncture therapy to relieve the inflammatory effects of lupus while finding natural ways to restore mobility. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

The Factors & Effects Of Lupus

Have you been experiencing joint pain in your upper or lower extremities, making it difficult to function throughout the day? Have you been feeling the constant effects of fatigue? Many individuals experiencing these pain-like issues could risk developing systemic lupus erythematosus. In this autoimmune disease, the body’s own immune system mistakenly starts to attack its tissues, thus leading to inflammation and a range of pain-like symptoms. Lupis is tricky to diagnose because of its complex immune dysregulation that can lead to an overproduction of cytokines that can affect the body. (Lazar & Kahlenberg, 2023) At the same time, lupus can affect a diverse population, with symptoms and severity varying depending on how mild or severe the factors affect the body. Lupus can impact various body parts, including the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, and other vital body parts and organs, as environmental and hormonal factors can influence its development. (Tsang & Bultink, 2021) Additionally, lupus can be closely associated with other comorbidities that are causing overlapping risk profiles with inflammation that can affect the joints in the musculoskeletal system.

 

The Burden of Joint Pain In Lupus

 

Lupus is tricky to diagnose since it often mimics other ailments; the most common pain symptom that lupus affects is the joints. Individuals with lupus experience joint pain, which can cause inflammatory effects and structural damage to the joints, tendons, muscles, and bones, causing pathological abnormalities. (Di Matteo et al., 2021) Since lupus causes inflammatory effects in the joints, many individuals will think that they are experiencing inflammatory arthritis, and it can cause overlapping risk profiles as it is accompanied by lupus, thus causing localized pain in the joints regardless of its origin. (Senthelal et al., 2024) Joint pain in lupus individuals can significantly hinder daily activities, reducing mobility and overall quality of life as they are trying to find relief. 

 


Unlocking The Secrets of Inflammation-Video


 

A Holistic Approach to Managing Lupus

While standard treatments for lupus involve medication and immunosuppressants to reduce the inflammation caused by lupus, many people want to seek out holistic approaches to manage lupus and reduce the inflammatory effects from affecting their joints by making small changes in their lives. Many people incorporate anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants to dampen the inflammatory effects. Various supplements, like vitamin D, calcium, zinc, etc., can help reduce inflammation caused by lupus and strengthen bone health. Additionally, non-surgical treatments can even improve cardiorespiratory capacity and decrease fatigue while improving psychological function, which can help improve a person’s quality of life by managing the symptoms caused by lupus. (Fangtham et al., 2019)

 

How Acupuncture Could Help Lupus & Restore Mobility

One of the oldest forms of non-surgical and holistic approaches to reducing inflammation and managing lupus is acupuncture. Acupuncture involves solid, thin needles used by highly trained professionals to be inserted into specific body points to balance the body’s qi (energy) by stimulating the nervous system and releasing beneficial chemicals into the affected muscles, spinal cord, and brain. Additionally, acupuncture, with its minimal side effects and holistic approach, can help manage lupus. This is because when acupuncture needles are placed at the acupoints of the body, it can disrupt the pain signals that are causing pain in the affected area and regulate the inflammatory cytokines from lupus to provide relief. (Wang et al., 2023) This is due to its philosophy of addressing not only the physical pain but also the emotional and psychological symptoms of living with a chronic condition like lupus.

 

 

Additionally, acupuncture can help restore joint mobility while managing lupus through consecutive treatments, as many people notice that their joint mobility is improved and their pain is diminished. This is because the insertion and manipulation of the needles in the body’s acupoints cause alterations in afferent sensory input to the central nervous system, which increases alpha motoneuron excitability and reduces inflammation. (Kim et al., 2020) When individuals are dealing with lupus and are trying to find alternative holistic methods to relieve inflammation and joint pain caused by lupus, acupuncture, and non-surgical treatments can offer a ray of hope in managing the daily challenges of lupus. 

 


References

Di Matteo, A., Smerilli, G., Cipolletta, E., Salaffi, F., De Angelis, R., Di Carlo, M., Filippucci, E., & Grassi, W. (2021). Imaging of Joint and Soft Tissue Involvement in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Curr Rheumatol Rep, 23(9), 73. doi.org/10.1007/s11926-021-01040-8

Fangtham, M., Kasturi, S., Bannuru, R. R., Nash, J. L., & Wang, C. (2019). Non-pharmacologic therapies for systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus, 28(6), 703-712. doi.org/10.1177/0961203319841435

Kim, D., Jang, S., & Park, J. (2020). Electroacupuncture and Manual Acupuncture Increase Joint Flexibility but Reduce Muscle Strength. Healthcare (Basel), 8(4). doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040414

Lazar, S., & Kahlenberg, J. M. (2023). Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: New Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches. Annu Rev Med, 74, 339-352. doi.org/10.1146/annurev-med-043021-032611

Senthelal, S., Li, J., Ardeshirzadeh, S., & Thomas, M. A. (2024). Arthritis. In StatPearls. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30085534

Tsang, A. S. M. W. P., & Bultink, I. E. M. (2021). New developments in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology (Oxford), 60(Suppl 6), vi21-vi28. doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keab498

Wang, H., Wang, B., Huang, J., Yang, Z., Song, Z., Zhu, Q., Xie, Z., Sun, Q., & Zhao, T. (2023). Efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy combined with conventional pharmacotherapy in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore), 102(40), e35418. doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000035418

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The Impact of Electroacupuncture on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The Impact of Electroacupuncture on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Can individuals with thoracic outlet syndrome incorporate electroacupuncture to reduce neck pain and restore proper posture?

Introduction

More times throughout the world, many individuals have experienced pain around their necks, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Many environmental factors, like being in a hunched position while looking at the computer or phone, traumatic injuries, poor posture, or spinal issues, can cause pain-like symptoms and complications to the body. Since neck pain is a common complaint many people suffer, symptoms like tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the upper extremities can lead to comorbidities. When this happens, it can lead to the development of a complex condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome or TOS. Today’s article looks at the link between thoracic outlet syndrome and neck pain, how to manage TOS while alleviating neck pain, and how electroacupuncture can help with TOS. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how to minimize the effects of TOS while reducing neck pain. We also inform and guide patients on how electroacupuncture can help manage TOS. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating electroacupuncture to alleviate TOS associated with the neck. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

The Link Between Thoracic Outlet Syndrome & Neck Pain

Have you been noticing how you are hunched over more than usual? Do you experience symptoms of tingling or numbness down from your arms to your hands? Or do you feel muscle tension in your neck? Thoracic outlet syndrome, or TOS, is a challenging condition resulting in the compression of neurovascular structures between the clavicle and the first rib. (Masocatto et al., 2019) These neurovascular structures are near the neck and shoulders. When environmental structures affect the upper extremities, it can lead to referred neck pain, which can cause overlapping risk profiles. Some of the factors that TOS can contribute to neck pain include: 

  • Atomical variations
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive motions
  • Traumatic injuries

 

 

At the same time, people with neck pain can develop TOS, as neck pain is a multifactorial musculoskeletal condition that can be associated with overlapping risk profiles that contribute to TOS. (Kazeminasab et al., 2022) As stated earlier, factors like poor posture can overstretch the neck muscles and the neurovascular structures, leading to neuropathic pain symptoms that can cause deep aching referred pain to the neck and muscle weakness. (Childress & Stuek, 2020) When this happens, many people will begin to feel miserable and start to seek treatment to not only reduce TOS but also alleviate neck pain.

 


What Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome- Video


Managing TOS & Alleviating Neck Pain

When it comes to treating TOS, especially when neck pain is a significant component, many individuals will try to seek out non-surgical treatments to reduce the symptoms. Many individuals may try physical therapy to stretch and strengthen their shoulder, chest, and neck muscles to relieve compression. Others might try a manual treatment that is joint-oriented for the neck while neural-tissue-oriented for TOS to improve mobilization on the upper extremities and even improve poor posture. (Kuligowski et al., 2021) Additionally, non-surgical treatments can be combined with other therapies to reduce the chances of TOS from returning as they can further increase sensory-motor function back to the neck and upper extremities. (Borrella-Andres et al., 2021)

 

How Electroacupuncture Can Help With TOS

 

Electroacupuncture is a modern form of traditional acupuncture that is part of the non-surgical treatments that can help manage TOS while alleviating neck pain. Electroacupuncture is a modification of inserting needles into the body’s acupoints while incorporating electric stimulation to deliver a pulsed electrical current to the affected area gently. (Zhang et al., 2022) Some of the beneficial properties that electrostimulation can provide for TOS include:

  • Pain reduction by stimulating the release of endorphins to decrease inflammation.
  • Help relax the affected muscles in the chest and neck to alleviate the pressure on the nerves of the thoracic outlet.
  • Help enhance the blood flow to reduce vascular compression of TOS.
  • Help stimulate the nerve pathway to promote healthy nerve function and reduce pain-like symptoms. 

By incorporating electroacupuncture and non-surgical treatments to reduce TOS, many individuals can make modifications to their lifestyle habits and prevent issues from affecting their upper body extremities. By utilizing these treatments, many people can listen to their bodies and focus on their health and well-being by addressing the pain-like symptoms they are experiencing from TOS correlating with neck pain. At the same time, they have a positive relationship with their primary doctors to develop a personalized treatment plan that can manage their TOS symptoms to the best outcomes. 

 


References

Borrella-Andres, S., Marques-Garcia, I., Lucha-Lopez, M. O., Fanlo-Mazas, P., Hernandez-Secorun, M., Perez-Bellmunt, A., Tricas-Moreno, J. M., & Hidalgo-Garcia, C. (2021). Manual Therapy as a Management of Cervical Radiculopathy: A Systematic Review. Biomed Res Int, 2021, 9936981. doi.org/10.1155/2021/9936981

Childress, M. A., & Stuek, S. J. (2020). Neck Pain: Initial Evaluation and Management. American Family Physician, 102(3), 150-156. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32735440

www.aafp.org/dam/brand/aafp/pubs/afp/issues/2020/0801/p150.pdf

Kazeminasab, S., Nejadghaderi, S. A., Amiri, P., Pourfathi, H., Araj-Khodaei, M., Sullman, M. J. M., Kolahi, A. A., & Safiri, S. (2022). Neck pain: global epidemiology, trends and risk factors. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 23(1), 26. doi.org/10.1186/s12891-021-04957-4

Kuligowski, T., Skrzek, A., & Cieslik, B. (2021). Manual Therapy in Cervical and Lumbar Radiculopathy: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18(11). doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116176

Masocatto, N. O., Da-Matta, T., Prozzo, T. G., Couto, W. J., & Porfirio, G. (2019). Thoracic outlet syndrome: a narrative review. Rev Col Bras Cir, 46(5), e20192243. doi.org/10.1590/0100-6991e-20192243 (Sindrome do desfiladeiro toracico: uma revisao narrativa.)

Zhang, B., Shi, H., Cao, S., Xie, L., Ren, P., Wang, J., & Shi, B. (2022). Revealing the magic of acupuncture based on biological mechanisms: A literature review. Biosci Trends, 16(1), 73-90. doi.org/10.5582/bst.2022.01039

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Discover Nonsurgical Solutions for Hip Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Discover Nonsurgical Solutions for Hip Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Can plantar fasciitis patients incorporate non-surgical treatments to reduce hip pain and restore mobility?

Introduction

Everyone is on their feet constantly as it helps people stay mobile and allows them to go from one location to another. Many people are constantly on their feet from childhood to adulthood. This is because the feet are part of the lower musculoskeletal extremities that stabilize the hips and allow sensory-motor function to the legs, thighs, and calves. The feet also have various muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the skeletal structure to prevent pain and discomfort. However, when repetitive motions or injuries start to affect the feet, it can lead to plantar fasciitis and, over time, cause overlapping risk profiles that lead to hip pain. When people are experiencing these pain-like conditions, it can significantly affect their daily activities and overall quality of life. When this happens, many people seek various treatments to reduce the pain-like symptoms caused by plantar fasciitis and restore hip mobility. Today’s article looks at how plantar fasciitis correlates with hip pain, the connection between the feet and the hips, and how there are non-surgical solutions to reduce plantar fasciitis. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how to mitigate plantar fasciitis and restore hip mobility. We also inform and guide patients on how numerous non-surgical treatments can help strengthen weak muscles associated with plantar fasciitis and help with restoring stabilization from hip pain. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating small changes to reduce the pain-like effects caused by plantar fasciitis. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

How Plantar Fasciitis Correlates With Hip Pain

Do you experience pain in your heels constantly after a long walk? Do you feel stiffness in your hips when stretching? Or do you feel your shoes are causing tension and pain in your feet and calves? Often, many of these pain-like scenarios are due to people dealing with plantar fasciitis, characterized by heel pain due to inflammation or degenerative irritation of the plantar fascia, a band of thick tissues is running across the bottom of the foot and connecting to the heel bone to the toes in the lower extremities. This band of tissues plays an essential role in the body, providing normal biomechanics to the foot while supporting the arch and helping with shock absorption. (Buchanan et al., 2024) Plantar fasciitis can affect the stability of the lower extremities since the pain affects the feet and causes hip pain.

 

 

So, how would plantar fasciitis correlate with hip pain? With plantar fasciitis, many people are experiencing pain in their feet. It can lead to abnormal foot posture, lower extremity muscle weakness, and muscle stress that can reduce the stability of the legs and hip muscles. (Lee et al., 2022) With hip pain, many people can experience a gait dysfunction that causes muscle weakness in the lower extremities and causes the accessory muscles to perform the primary muscles’ jobs. To that point, this forces people to scrap the ground when walking. (Ahuja et al., 2020) This is because normal conditions like natural aging, muscle overuse, or trauma can cause pain-like symptoms to the hips, including discomfort on the thighs, groin, and buttock region, joint stiffness, and reduced range of motion. Hip pain can cause overlapping risk profiles that may include repetitive strain on the feet, thus leading to symptoms of sharp to dull aches on the heel.

 

The Connection Between The Feet and The Hips

It is important to understand that foot problems like plantar fasciitis can affect the hips and vice versa, as both body regions have a beautiful relationship within the musculoskeletal system. Plantar fasciitis on their feet can alter their gait function, potentially leading to hip pain over time. This is due to many environmental factors that can affect the hips and feet over time, leading to plantar fasciitis correlating with hip pain. From excessive weight-bearing activities to microtrauma in the hips or the plantar fascia, many people will often seek treatment to reduce the effects of plantar fasciitis correlated with hip pain by addressing how their range of motion is affecting the plantarflexion and their load on the force-absorbing plantar surface structures could be good starting points in the prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis correlated with hip pain. (Hamstra-Wright et al., 2021)

 


What Is Plantar Fasciitis?-Video


Non-Surgical Solutions To Reduce Plantar Fasciitis

When it comes to reducing plantar fasciitis in the body, many individuals will seek non-surgical treatments that can alleviate the pain from plantar fascia. Non-surgical treatments are cost-effective and can reduce the pain from plantar fasciitis and its associated symptoms, like hip pain. Some of the benefits of non-surgical treatments are promising, as they have a low risk of complications, good accessibility, and even a high capacity to relieve the mechanical load on the plantar fascia when doing regular activities. (Schuitema et al., 2020) Some of the non-surgical treatments that many people can incorporate include:

  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthotic devices
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture/electroacupuncture
  • Spinal decompression

 

These non-surgical treatments not only help reduce plantar fasciitis but also help alleviate hip pain. For example, spinal decompression can help restore hip mobility by stretching the lumbar spine and relieving the lower extremities from numbness while strengthening tight muscles. (Takagi et al., 2023). Electroacupuncture can stimulate the body’s acupoints to release endorphins from the lower extremities to reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia. (Wang et al., 2019) When people begin to make small changes in their routine, like wearing proper footwear and not carrying or lifting heavy weighted objects, it can go a long way to prevent plantar fasciitis and hip pain from reoccurring can go a long way. Having a personalized treatment plan can ensure many individuals seeking non-surgical treatments have a better outcome on their health and mobility while preventing long-term complications. 

 


References

Ahuja, V., Thapa, D., Patial, S., Chander, A., & Ahuja, A. (2020). Chronic hip pain in adults: Current knowledge and future prospective. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol, 36(4), 450-457. doi.org/10.4103/joacp.JOACP_170_19

Buchanan, B. K., Sina, R. E., & Kushner, D. (2024). Plantar Fasciitis. In StatPearls. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28613727

Hamstra-Wright, K. L., Huxel Bliven, K. C., Bay, R. C., & Aydemir, B. (2021). Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis in Physically Active Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Health, 13(3), 296-303. doi.org/10.1177/1941738120970976

Lee, J. H., Shin, K. H., Jung, T. S., & Jang, W. Y. (2022). Lower Extremity Muscle Performance and Foot Pressure in Patients Who Have Plantar Fasciitis with and without Flat Foot Posture. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 20(1). doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010087

Schuitema, D., Greve, C., Postema, K., Dekker, R., & Hijmans, J. M. (2020). Effectiveness of Mechanical Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis: A Systematic Review. J Sport Rehabil, 29(5), 657-674. doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2019-0036

Takagi, Y., Yamada, H., Ebara, H., Hayashi, H., Inatani, H., Toyooka, K., Mori, A., Kitano, Y., Nakanami, A., Kagechika, K., Yahata, T., & Tsuchiya, H. (2023). Decompression for lumbar spinal stenosis at the intrathecal catheter insertion site during intrathecal baclofen therapy: a case report. J Med Case Rep, 17(1), 239. doi.org/10.1186/s13256-023-03959-1

Wang, W., Liu, Y., Zhao, J., Jiao, R., & Liu, Z. (2019). Electroacupuncture versus manual acupuncture in the treatment of plantar heel pain syndrome: study protocol for an upcoming randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 9(4), e026147. doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-026147

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Achieve Relief: Spinal Decompression for Cervical Spinal Pain

Achieve Relief: Spinal Decompression for Cervical Spinal Pain

Can individuals with cervical spinal pain incorporate spinal decompression therapy to reduce neck pain and headaches?

Introduction

Many individuals deal with neck pain at some point, leading to many issues that can impact their daily lives. See, the neck is part of the cervical region of the musculoskeletal system. It is surrounded by muscles, soft tissues, and ligaments that protect the spinal cord while allowing the head to be mobile. Like back pain, neck pain is a common issue that causes pain and discomfort from associated environmental factors and traumatic injuries. When a person is dealing with neck pain, they are also coping with comorbidities that cause overlapping risk profiles like headaches and migraines. However, treatments like spinal decompression can help reduce cervical spinal pain affecting the neck and reduce the painful effects of headaches and migraines. Today’s article looks at the impact of cervical pain and headaches, how spinal decompression can reduce cervical spinal pain, and how it benefits from reducing headaches. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how to mitigate cervical spinal pain from the neck. We also inform and guide patients on how spinal decompression can help reduce headaches caused by cervical spinal pain. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating spinal decompression therapy as part of their routine to reduce headaches and migraines associated with the neck. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

The Effects Of Cervical Pain & Headaches

Do you feel stiffness on both sides of your neck that causes you limited mobility when you turn your neck? Have you experienced constant throbbing pain in your temples? Or do you feel muscle aches on your neck and shoulders from being hunched on the computer for an extended period? Many individuals dealing with these pain-like issues could be coping with cervical spinal pain. Various causes that can lead to the development of cervical spinal pain include herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, and muscle strain that originates from the neck region. This is because cervical spinal pain can be associated with environmental factors that can cause pain and discomfort, disability, and impaired quality of life as the surrounding neck muscles are overstretched and tight. (Ben Ayed et al., 2019) When people are dealing with cervical spinal pain, one of the symptoms it is associated with is headaches. This is because the intricated nerve pathways are connected to the neck and head. When cervical spinal pain is causing these issues, it can significantly impact a person’s daily body function as the pain is traveling upwards. 

 

 

At the same time, neck pain is a multifactorial disease that can become a major issue worldwide. Like back pain, numerous risk factors can contribute to its development. (Kazeminasab et al., 2022) Some risk factors, like excessive phone usage, cause prolonged neck flexion to the neck and shoulders, causing static muscular loading with a lack of support to the upper extremities. (Al-Hadidi et al., 2019) To this point, environmental risk factors like excessive phone usage can make individuals develop a hunched position in their necks that can compress the spinal disc in the cervical region and aggravate the nerve roots to produce headaches and pain. However, many individuals have found ways to reduce cervical spinal pain and find pain relief from their headaches.

 


Home Exercises for Pain Relief-Video


How Spinal Decompression Reduces Cervical Spinal Pain

When it comes to reducing cervical spinal pain, many individuals have experienced that spinal decompression can help mitigate the effects of cervical pain. Spinal decompression has increasingly been recognized as an effective non-surgical treatment when it comes to alleviating cervical spinal pain. What spinal decompression does is that it allows negative pressure on the cervical spine to relieve any herniated disc of the aggravated nerve roots and help improve neurological symptoms. (Kang et al., 2016) This is due to a person being strapped comfortably on a traction machine that gently stretches and decompresses the spinal vertebrae. Additionally, some of the benefits of spinal decompression for cervical spinal pain include:

  • Improved spinal alignment to reduce muscle strain on the neck muscles and joints.
  • Enhanced the body’s natural healing by increasing blood flow and nutrient exchange.
  • Increased neck mobility by decreasing muscle stiffness.
  • Reducing pain levels that are causing intense headaches. 

 

The Benefits of Spinal Decompression For Headaches

Additionally, spinal decompression can help reduce headaches associated with cervical spinal pain as spinal decompression can be combined with other therapies like acupuncture and physical therapy to relieve the protruding spinal dice and stabilize within the annulus by spinal elongation. (Van Der Heijden et al., 1995) This is due to gentle traction on the neck that is causing the prolapsed disc to reposition itself while restoring disc height to minimize the pressure on the nerves. (Amjad et al., 2022) When a person is doing spinal decompression therapy consecutively, the pain-like effects of cervical spinal pain and the associated headaches begin to reduce over time, and many people will start to notice how their habits are in correlation with their pain. By incorporating spinal decompression therapy as part of their treatment, many people can make small changes in their routine and be more mindful of their bodies to prevent the progression of cervical spinal pain from returning. 

 


References

Al-Hadidi, F., Bsisu, I., AlRyalat, S. A., Al-Zu’bi, B., Bsisu, R., Hamdan, M., Kanaan, T., Yasin, M., & Samarah, O. (2019). Association between mobile phone use and neck pain in university students: A cross-sectional study using numeric rating scale for evaluation of neck pain. PLOS ONE, 14(5), e0217231. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217231

Amjad, F., Mohseni-Bandpei, M. A., Gilani, S. A., Ahmad, A., & Hanif, A. (2022). Effects of non-surgical decompression therapy in addition to routine physical therapy on pain, range of motion, endurance, functional disability and quality of life versus routine physical therapy alone in patients with lumbar radiculopathy; a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 23(1), 255. doi.org/10.1186/s12891-022-05196-x

Ben Ayed, H., Yaich, S., Trigui, M., Ben Hmida, M., Ben Jemaa, M., Ammar, A., Jedidi, J., Karray, R., Feki, H., Mejdoub, Y., Kassis, M., & Damak, J. (2019). Prevalence, Risk Factors and Outcomes of Neck, Shoulders and Low-Back Pain in Secondary-School Children. J Res Health Sci, 19(1), e00440. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31133629

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6941626/pdf/jrhs-19-e00440.pdf

Kang, J.-I., Jeong, D.-K., & Choi, H. (2016). Effect of spinal decompression on the lumbar muscle activity and disk height in patients with herniated intervertebral disk. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 28(11), 3125-3130. doi.org/10.1589/jpts.28.3125

Kazeminasab, S., Nejadghaderi, S. A., Amiri, P., Pourfathi, H., Araj-Khodaei, M., Sullman, M. J. M., Kolahi, A. A., & Safiri, S. (2022). Neck pain: global epidemiology, trends and risk factors. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 23(1), 26. doi.org/10.1186/s12891-021-04957-4

Van Der Heijden, G. J., Beurskens, A. J., Koes, B. W., Assendelft, W. J., De Vet, H. C., & Bouter, L. M. (1995). The Efficacy of Traction for Back and Neck Pain: A Systematic, Blinded Review of Randomized Clinical Trial Methods. Physical Therapy, 75(2), 93-104. doi.org/10.1093/ptj/75.2.93

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How Acupuncture-Electroacupuncture Can Improve Your Health

How Acupuncture-Electroacupuncture Can Improve Your Health

For individuals dealing with musculoskeletal pain, can incorporating acupuncture and electroacupuncture therapy provide beneficial results?

Introduction

The upper and lower body quadrants are surrounded by muscles, soft tissues, and ligaments that allow the body to be mobile with feelings of pain or discomfort. Each muscle group has an important job providing sensory-motor functions like grasping objects, moving extremities, supporting the body in a correct posture, and stabilizing vertical axial weight. However, many people have adopted various habits from environmental factors or have been through traumatic injuries that can cause referred muscle pain in the upper and lower body quadrants. When this happens, it can lead to a life of disability, pain, and discomfort over time if it is not treated right away. To that point, musculoskeletal pain can also cause overlapping risk profiles with other comorbidities that can be pre-existing in the body. Fortunately, numerous treatments can help reduce musculoskeletal pain and benefit the body. Today’s article looks at two different non-surgical therapies, how each is beneficial to reducing musculoskeletal pain, and how effective they can help many people with musculoskeletal pain. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how to reduce the pain-like effects of musculoskeletal pain with non-surgical treatments. We also guide patients on how these non-surgical treatments can help lessen the referred pain caused by various environmental factors affecting their musculoskeletal system. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating non-surgical treatments into their health and wellness treatments. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

The Traditional Touch Of Acupuncture

After a long workday, do you feel soreness in your arms, legs, or feet? Have you experienced any symptoms of numbness or stiffness in the upper or lower portions of your body? Or do you feel muscle aches and pains after waking up in the morning? Around the world, many individuals have dealt with musculoskeletal pain at some point, which causes many people to miss out on numerous activities. Musculoskeletal pain is a multifactorial condition that any individual can develop over time. Some biological mechanisms contributing to the development of musculoskeletal pain can be heterogeneous, cardiometabolic, and systemic inflammation that can affect the body. (Dzakpasu et al., 2021) When many people are doing repetitive motions or have dealt with injuries, it can cause the various muscles to be overstretched, tightened, or weak, which can cause individuals to feel miserable and seek treatment. When people go to get treatment for their musculoskeletal pain, many people will tell their doctors about their pain experience and how it impacts their daily social well-being. By gaining information about how musculoskeletal pain negatively affects their lives, a multidisciplinary approach to pain management that emphasizes rehabilitation and non-surgical treatments can be the first step in effectively managing musculoskeletal pain. (Welsh et al., 2020)

 

 

Now, non-surgical treatments vary depending on the severity of musculoskeletal pain the person is experiencing. Since musculoskeletal pain is a multifactorial condition, many people could experience comorbidities that cause overlapping risk profiles that correlate with musculoskeletal pain, hence why many people incorporate non-surgical treatments since it is affordable and can be combined with other treatments. One of the oldest therapies that is still practiced today is acupuncture. Now, acupuncture involves the insertion of thin, solid needles into the body’s acupoints to restore the normal flow of energy through the body’s pathways. Highly trained professionals do acupuncture, and it is safe and effective for the person dealing with musculoskeletal pain. Additionally, acupuncture can positively affect the body as it can help change the pain perception of the affected muscle. (Kelly & Willis, 2019)

 

How Acupuncture Benefits Muscle Pain

Acupuncture can also provide beneficial results to individuals by emphasizing the mobilization of self-healing mechanisms to restore the body’s homeostasis to normal. (Wang et al., 2023) Some of the beneficial properties that people can experience with acupuncture include:

  • Provides natural pain relief by stimulating the release of endorphins in the affected muscle.
  • Reducing muscle inflammation in the affected muscle group area.
  • Improving blood flow circulation to decrease muscle stiffness and soreness.
  • Reducing stress and muscle tension in the affected area.

At the same time, acupuncture therapy for muscle pain can help reduce the inhibitory effects and modulate the feeling of pain, which then modifies central sensitization. (Zhu et al., 2021)

 

The Modern Twist Of Electroacupuncture

Now, electroacupuncture is a different form of acupuncture that uses the application of acupuncture needles and electric stimulation on the affected muscle. At the same time, when people are getting treated with electroacupuncture, their somatosensory afferent nerves provide pain relief. They are blocked to stop the pain signals from reaching the central nervous system. (Chen et al., 2021) This is because adding electric stimulation can enhance the therapeutic effects of the acupuncture points in the body. 

 

How Electroacupuncture Benefits Muscle Pain

Regarding reducing muscle pain, electroacupuncture is more effective as acupuncturists can help adjust the intensity of the electric currents on the affected muscle to ensure comfort. Some of the benefits that electroacupuncture provides include:

  • Enhanced pain relief as the electric current can stimulate endorphin release.
  • Muscle relaxation from spasms in the affected muscle group.
  • Increased the healing rate by stimulating deeper muscles.
  • Help enhance muscle strength and flexibility to improve functionality.

Electroacupuncture can relieve pain and even adjust the biomechanical properties of the extensor-flexor muscles to improve abnormal joint loading caused by musculoskeletal pain. (Shi et al., 2020)

 

How These Two Treatments Help With Musculoskeletal Pain?

When it comes to acupuncture and electroacupuncture, it all depends on the severity of musculoskeletal pain affecting the body. Many people prefer traditional acupuncture for acute musculoskeletal pain in a more holistic approach. In comparison, others might prefer electroacupuncture to reduce the chronic pain effects of musculoskeletal pain. However, both of these treatments are non-surgical. They can be combined with other therapies like physical therapy or chiropractic care to help stimulate the body’s natural healing factor and relieve musculoskeletal pain. When these two treatments are combined with other therapies, the affected muscles are strengthened and provide mobility function back into the extremities. When people start thinking about their well-being, they can utilize these treatments to reduce the comorbidities associated with musculoskeletal pain that is affecting them. Thus allowing them to make small, healthy changes to their routine and live pain-free lives.

 


Beyond Adjustments: Chiropractic and Integrative Healthcare- Video


References

Chen, L., Wang, X., Zhang, X., Wan, H., Su, Y., He, W., Xie, Y., & Jing, X. (2021). Electroacupuncture and Moxibustion-Like Stimulation Relieves Inflammatory Muscle Pain by Activating Local Distinct Layer Somatosensory Afferent Fibers. Front Neurosci, 15, 695152. doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2021.695152

Dzakpasu, F. Q. S., Carver, A., Brakenridge, C. J., Cicuttini, F., Urquhart, D. M., Owen, N., & Dunstan, D. W. (2021). Musculoskeletal pain and sedentary behaviour in occupational and non-occupational settings: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 18(1), 159. doi.org/10.1186/s12966-021-01191-y

Kelly, R. B., & Willis, J. (2019). Acupuncture for Pain. American Family Physician, 100(2), 89-96. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31305037

www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2019/0715/p89.pdf

Shi, X., Yu, W., Wang, T., Battulga, O., Wang, C., Shu, Q., Yang, X., Liu, C., & Guo, C. (2020). Electroacupuncture alleviates cartilage degradation: Improvement in cartilage biomechanics via pain relief and potentiation of muscle function in a rabbit model of knee osteoarthritis. Biomed Pharmacother, 123, 109724. doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109724

Wang, M., Liu, W., Ge, J., & Liu, S. (2023). The immunomodulatory mechanisms for acupuncture practice. Front Immunol, 14, 1147718. doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2023.1147718

Welsh, T. P., Yang, A. E., & Makris, U. E. (2020). Musculoskeletal Pain in Older Adults: A Clinical Review. Med Clin North Am, 104(5), 855-872. doi.org/10.1016/j.mcna.2020.05.002

Zhu, J., Li, J., Yang, L., & Liu, S. (2021). Acupuncture, from the ancient to the current. Anat Rec (Hoboken), 304(11), 2365-2371. doi.org/10.1002/ar.24625

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Unpacking the Connection Between Electroacupuncture & Sciatica Pain

Unpacking the Connection Between Electroacupuncture & Sciatica Pain

Can the effects of electroacupuncture reduce sciatica in individuals dealing with low back pain to restore their mobility?

Introduction

When many people start to overuse their muscles in the lower quadrants, it can lead to numerous issues that cause pain and discomfort. One of the most common pain issues in the lower quadrants of the musculoskeletal system is sciatica, which is associated with low back pain. This pain duo can affect a person’s daily routine and lead them to pain and discomfort. This musculoskeletal condition is common, and when it affects one of the legs and lower back, many people state that it’s a radiating shooting pain that doesn’t go away for a while. Luckily, there are treatments like electroacupuncture to reduce sciatica associated with low back pain. Today’s article looks at the sciatica-low-back connection, how electroacupuncture reduces this pain connection, and how electroacupuncture can restore mobility to the individual. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how to reduce the sciatica-low-back connection with electroacupuncture. We also inform and guide patients on how electroacupuncture therapy can be combined with other therapies to restore mobility to the body. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating electroacupuncture therapy as part of their routine to reduce sciatica associated with low back pain. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

The Sciatica & Low Back Connection

Do you feel muscle aches or pain in your lower back or your legs? Do you experience radiating, throbbing pain in your legs that affects your walking ability? Or have you noticed that your legs and lower back ache more when carrying a heavy object? Many of these scenarios are associated with sciatica, which correlates with lower back pain. Now, sciatica is often characterized by aggravating pain traveling along the sciatic nerve from the lower back region, impairing a person’s quality of life. In the musculoskeletal system, the sciatic nerve plays an important role by providing motor function to the legs. (Davis et al., 2024) Now, when the sciatic nerve, the lumbar region also has a pivotal role. The lumbar region in the musculoskeletal region also has a crucial role in providing support, strength, and flexibility to the body. However, both the sciatic nerve and lumbar spinal region are more prone to stress and injuries from traumatic injuries and environmental factors that can impact the lumbar spinal discs and the sciatic nerve.

 

 

Repetitive motions, obesity, improper lifting, degenerative spinal issues, and musculoskeletal conditions are a few causes and risk factors contributing to the development of sciatica associated with the lower back. What eventually happens is that the water content and the progressive loss of the proteoglycans of the spinal discs break down between the vertebrae and protrude out to press on the sciatic nerve, which then can become irritated and cause referred radiating pain in the legs and lower back. (Zhou et al., 2021) The combination of sciatica and lower back pain can become a socio-economic issue depending on the severity of the pain that the sciatic nerve is causing and can make individuals miss out on any activities they are participating in. (Siddiq et al., 2020) While sciatica pain-like symptoms often correlate with the lumbar region, many individuals can find the relief they are looking for through various treatments.

 


Sciatica Causes- Video


Electroacupuncture Reducing The Sciatica-Low Back Connection

When it comes to reducing the sciatic-low-back connection, many individuals seek out treatment that is affordable and effective in decreasing pain-like issues. Non-surgical treatments like electroacupuncture can be beneficial to many individuals who are experiencing sciatica pain correlated with the lower back. Electroacupuncture is another form of traditional acupuncture therapy that originates in China. Highly trained acupuncturists follow the same acupuncture principles by placing solid thin needles at different acupoints in the body to restore qui or chi (energy flow). Electroacupuncture combines needles and electrostimulation to reduce the central pain-regulatory mechanisms causing low back pain and sciatica by blocking the pain signals and providing pain relief. (Kong, 2020) At the same time, electroacupuncture offers analgesic properties to stimulate endorphins and reduce pain medication for low back pain safely. (Sung et al., 2021)

 

 

Electroacupuncture Restoring Mobility

When the lower extremities are experiencing limited mobility due to sciatica associated with low back pain, electroacupuncture can help relax the muscles that are aggravating the sciatic nerve and even help improve blood flow to the lumbar muscles. That is because electroacupuncture can stimulate specific body regions to reduce the somato-vagal-adrenal reflexes to relieve and restore mobility to the lower extremities. (Liu et al., 2021) Additionally, electroacupuncture can be combined with other non-surgical therapies to help strengthen the core and lower back muscles, allowing people to be more mindful of what factors are causing sciatica and lower back pain. By doing this, many people struggling with sciatica associated with low back pain can incorporate electroacupuncture as part of their treatment program combined with holistic approaches to improving their quality of life and providing a pathway to improving their mobility. 

 


References

Davis, D., Maini, K., Taqi, M., & Vasudevan, A. (2024). Sciatica. In StatPearls. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29939685

Kong, J. T. (2020). Electroacupuncture for Treating Chronic Low-Back Pain: Preliminary Research Results. Med Acupunct, 32(6), 396-397. doi.org/10.1089/acu.2020.1495

Liu, S., Wang, Z., Su, Y., Qi, L., Yang, W., Fu, M., Jing, X., Wang, Y., & Ma, Q. (2021). A neuroanatomical basis for electroacupuncture to drive the vagal-adrenal axis. Nature, 598(7882), 641-645. doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04001-4

Siddiq, M. A. B., Clegg, D., Hasan, S. A., & Rasker, J. J. (2020). Extra-spinal sciatica and sciatica mimics: a scoping review. Korean J Pain, 33(4), 305-317. doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2020.33.4.305

Sung, W. S., Park, J. R., Park, K., Youn, I., Yeum, H. W., Kim, S., Choi, J., Cho, Y., Hong, Y., Park, Y., Kim, E. J., & Nam, D. (2021). The effectiveness and safety of electroacupuncture for nonspecific chronic low back pain: A protocol for systematic review and/or meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore), 100(4), e24281. doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000024281

Zhou, J., Mi, J., Peng, Y., Han, H., & Liu, Z. (2021). Causal Associations of Obesity With the Intervertebral Degeneration, Low Back Pain, and Sciatica: A Two-Sample Mendelian Randomization Study. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne), 12, 740200. doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2021.740200

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Understanding Electroacupuncture and How It Relieves Gut Inflammation

Understanding Electroacupuncture and How It Relieves Gut Inflammation

Can individuals dealing with gut inflammation be relieved with electroacupuncture to reduce low back pain symptoms & improve gut function?

Introduction

When it comes to the body, the gut system has a very interesting relationship to the various body groups. The gut system works with the central nervous, immune, and musculoskeletal systems as it helps protect the body from harmful bacteria while regulating inflammation. However, when environmental factors start to affect the body and cause the gut system to go haywire, it can cause numerous issues of pain and discomfort to the body. One of the issues that the gut can affect is the musculoskeletal system, causing back pain issues associated with gut inflammation. However, numerous treatments can help reduce the effects of gut inflammation that is causing back pain. Today’s article looks at the gut-back pain connection, how electroacupuncture can be integrated as a treatment, and how it can reduce inflammation. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how gut inflammation impacts their bodies, causing back pain. We also inform and guide patients on how electroacupuncture therapy can help reduce the inflammatory effects causing gut and back issues and restore gut function. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating various non-surgical treatments to reduce gut inflammation correlated with back pain. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

 

The Gut-Back Pain Connection

Do you feel muscle aches or pains in your gut or lower back? What about radiating heat in various areas of your body? Or have you experienced any low-energy moments throughout your day? While the gut is known as the second brain since it works with the immune system, one of its crucial roles is regulating the body’s immune system. This is because the gut microbiome houses trillions of bacteria to digest food and protect the body from bad bacteria. When environmental factors start to affect the gut’s delicate ecosystem, it can lead the immune system to be hyperactive, causing the inflammatory cytokines to mass produce, and this effect can ripple throughout the body, thus manifesting into various pain-like symptoms and conditions, including back pain. Since inflammation is the body’s defense response to injuries or infections, it removes the harmful issue in the affected area and helps heal. So when the inflammatory cytokines start to mass produce due to gut inflammation, it can compromise the gut system, allowing toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to different body areas, causing pain. Now, this is due to various environmental factors that lead to back pain development. When the harmful bacteria from inflammation start to cause back pain, they can attach themselves and affect the intervertebral disc homeostasis, causing the immune system to attack the intervertebral disc and cause back pain. (Yao et al., 2023) This is due to the connection of the gut and back through complex nerve pathways that send information from the gut to the back and up to the brain.

 

 

So, when inflammation starts to cause issues in the body, it can lead to musculoskeletal problems like back pain. Gut inflammation can cause an imbalance between the composition of the symbiont and pathobiont to decrease the integrity and function of the intestinal gut barriers, induce pain, and increase the inflammatory molecules. (Ratna et al., 2023) The inflammatory molecules can exacerbate pain receptors and muscle tension, leading to discomfort and pain in the lower back. Coincidentally, environmental factors like poor posture, physical inactivity, and poor dietary habits can cause the gut system to induce inflammation of the back muscles. When there is dysbiosis in the gut microbiota, the inflammatory effects can be indirectly associated with visceral pain and central nervous systemic functioning to alter the body and cause it to be in a persistent state of chronic systemic inflammation to induce back pain. (Dekker Nitert et al., 2020). However, there are numerous non-surgical treatments and holistic approaches to reduce gut inflammation and relieve back pain.

 

Integrating Electroacupuncture As Treatment

When people are experiencing back pain associated with gut inflammation, they will go to their primary healthcare doctor and explain the situation. Given the connection between gut inflammation and back pain, by addressing the environmental factors that cause these overlapping risk profiles, many doctors can work with pain specialists to reduce both gut inflammation and back pain. Pain specialists like chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists can help strengthen the affected muscles that are causing back pain and provide holistic approaches like anti-inflammatory vitamins and supplements to reduce gut inflammation. One of the oldest non-surgical treatments that can do both is electroacupuncture. Electroacupuncture combines traditional Chinese therapy and modern technology that uses electric stimulation and thin solid needles to be inserted into the body’s acupoint to obtain qi or energy. What this does is that it provides electric stimulation and anti-inflammatory effects to induce cholinergic reflexes in the gut and HPA axis. (Yang et al., 2024) Electroacupuncture can also be combined with other therapies to reduce the inflammatory effects associated with back pain.

 

How Does Electroacupuncture Reduce Gut Inflammation

Since electroacupuncture can reduce gut inflammation causing back pain, it can help regulate the intestinal flora by promoting intestinal motility and blocking the pain signals from affecting the back muscles. (An et al., 2022) This is because electroacupuncture can help relax the tense muscles causing back pain. Additionally, when people approach this treatment, it is under the guidance of highly trained acupuncturists who can insert the needles correctly while tailoring electroacupuncture therapy to the person’s specific needs and pain. Since electroacupuncture can be combined with other therapies, it can effectively reduce body weight and restore digestion and absorption to shape the gut microbiota. (Xia et al., 2022) This allows individuals to make small changes to their routine and prevent gut inflammation from affecting the body and causing back pain. They can improve their quality of life by incorporating electroacupuncture as part of their health and wellness treatment. 

 


Unlocking The Secrets Of Inflammation-Video


References

An, J., Wang, L., Song, S., Tian, L., Liu, Q., Mei, M., Li, W., & Liu, S. (2022). Electroacupuncture reduces blood glucose by regulating intestinal flora in type 2 diabetic mice. J Diabetes, 14(10), 695-710. doi.org/10.1111/1753-0407.13323

Dekker Nitert, M., Mousa, A., Barrett, H. L., Naderpoor, N., & de Courten, B. (2020). Altered Gut Microbiota Composition Is Associated With Back Pain in Overweight and Obese Individuals. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne), 11, 605. doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00605

Ratna, H. V. K., Jeyaraman, M., Yadav, S., Jeyaraman, N., & Nallakumarasamy, A. (2023). Is Dysbiotic Gut the Cause of Low Back Pain? Cureus, 15(7), e42496. doi.org/10.7759/cureus.42496

Xia, X., Xie, Y., Gong, Y., Zhan, M., He, Y., Liang, X., Jin, Y., Yang, Y., & Ding, W. (2022). Electroacupuncture promoted intestinal defensins and rescued the dysbiotic cecal microbiota of high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Life Sci, 309, 120961. doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120961

Yang, Y., Pang, F., Zhou, M., Guo, X., Yang, Y., Qiu, W., Liao, C., Chen, Y., & Tang, C. (2024). Electroacupuncture Reduces Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Obese Mice by Activating the Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathways and Repairing the Intestinal Barrier. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes, 17, 435-452. doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S449112

Yao, B., Cai, Y., Wang, W., Deng, J., Zhao, L., Han, Z., & Wan, L. (2023). The Effect of Gut Microbiota on the Progression of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. Orthopaedic Surgery, 15(3), 858-867. doi.org/10.1111/os.13626

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