Is Acupuncture An Alternative to Drugs When Treating Disc Herniations

Case Study of  Acute Lumbar Disc Injury

Modern Medicine vs Traditional Chinese Medicine


I  saw a patient this week whose chief complaint was low back pain with accompanying radiating pain into her lower leg and foot. The previous weekend the patient was at a local trampoline park for a party. She was having fun jumping with her family when she notice that her back started to get stiff. 


As the her symptoms worsened  she became justly concerned and sort  care from orthopedic surgeon and neurologist. Both doctors suggested she undergo a MRI, which revealed she suffered lumbar disc herniation.





When external forces put pressure on the spine this can cause the disc to swell or bulge and may produce irritation to the nerve branch . This is commonly called Sciatica when pain radiates down the leg into the calf.











The medical doctors prescribed anti inflammatory medication to decrease the pressure on the nerves as well a pain medication. These drugs are taken by mouth, they are unable to target the spine but produce an effect over the entire body.  The patient lethargic from the medications but the pain persisted. She was unable to sit or drive due to her pain.  The medical doctors decided to administer an epidural into the spine to decrease the inflammatory response that occurs with injury to the disc resulting in pressure on the  nerve.


When I saw the patient I decided to treat her using Master Tung Acupuncture Approach. I use acupuncture points in areas of the body usually the  ankle and wrist to treat the spine. These are reaction areas that target the lower spine. I am able to bring an anti inflammatory treatment to a specific level of the spine thereby treating the disc and nerve. The patient was instructed to lie down and I inserted points over her body. After 30 minute I removed the needles and the patient was able to sit up and get off the table pain free. 


When she returned for her followup appointment 4 days later she couldn't believe that the acupuncture treatment was able to treat her pain that all the drugs couldn't . While these results were dramatic  I often see results in most of the patients I treat. 


If you are suffering from sciatica and haven't found pain relief please consider acupuncture.





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