I've had back pain for several years now. At first, I believed that it was growing pain (I'm a young adult) or sports injury, but it has only got worse. About 18 months ago, I visited my GP, who told me that I had scoliosis and referred me to a spinal consultant, who basically told me that it was just muscular and sent me to a physio. The exercises, though gentle, made it much worse. After my physio told me that she believed my symptoms had changed, I was sent back to my GP, who tested me for arthritis, which I did not have, and then treated me for a condition that involved the over activity of the nerves in my back, but this did not relieve my pain. I have now been referred to a rheumatologist, but I was also told that it might be worth investigating acupuncture of chiropractic. Recently, I have become very nervous of people touching my back, and so I've ruled out chiropractic medicine, but acupuncture could be an option. When my mother was about my age, she had similar problems and had acupuncture, but she found the acupuncture was very painful and unhelpful. Is it worth trying it?

9 Replies

  • I haven't had acupuncture but am told for some people it works really well. I saw a chiropractor when I first hurt my back and am certain she made it worse after 2 appointments. Cancelled the 3rd appointment. Last year I had 6 sessions with a nhs osteopath and he was very good. Helped a lot at the time although subsequently my situation has worsened. Like most things it really depends on the professional you see.

    I do understand your reluctance for someone to manipulate your back. Maybe look into something like Alexandra technique or similar where your posture is looked at and no-one pulls you about!

  • I had my back manipulated made it worse, had acupuncture made know different, see doctor mine told me should not had it manipulated, just walk when I can and have Epson salt baths. take care.

  • HI peggy, i think when your in pain you will try anything to make it stop. It's a shame that you don't have that final diagnosis yet. I know what you mean by not wanting people to touch your back because i am the same. My L5 and S1 area are so delicate. I have tried just about everything including acupuncture which unfortunately didn't work for me but it does work for a lot of people so it's definitely worth a try. They will put needles in your fingers, toes and i think spine which doesn't really hurt untill they twist them. You can feel that area throb for a short while but it's nothing you can't cope with. Give it a go and if it doesnt work at least you can eliminate it again then try something else. Hope it works for you. Take some pain relief before you go. X

  • Be careful, and be wary if you have been recommended for any sort of manipulation it must come from your Consultant and in my experience this is rare. Physio is the same, if you are getting the run around, (and I'm sorry to say that seems to be the norm today) ask for a referral to the pain clinic, they usually do Acupuncture themselves. My experience of it was, very successful for treating a nerve problem in my neck,arm and chest, but no use at all for my lower back problem. It may be that you will not get any help from the health service until you do the next "step" I had endless appointments for physio, acupuncture, hydrotherapy ,and then round again, one of the Physio's I saw four times, each time he just looked at my MRI and X Ray's and said" Tell me again why you have been referred back to me ?" My answer was " because I have been told too, and I will not get any other treatment until I have wasted your time and mine" I really hope you get to the bottom of your problem, be persistent and keep complaining, you are way to young to have your life ruined by pain.

  • I had chronic pain in my right hip. I tried chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, spinal and hip injections twice. I fianally gave up and tried acupuncture. It is the only thing that keeps the pain out of my hip so I can walk, sleep and exercise. I strongly recommend it.

  • I have lower back pain I have spine blocks but I have also had acupuncture and found it did help. Be careful who you get to do the treatment as some of these clinics are a con if you live near me I can recommend one.

  • IF you find an Acupuncturist with advanced training and many years experience. Then you could ask him/her if they have experience in your problem. So if the answer is yes. In my opinion it would be worth trying it. I give this advice after trying 4 Acupuncturists ( one of which caused me more pain) before I found one with Advanced training and 10 years experience . A very rare occurrence. And a life saver for me.

    It is not easy finding the Right/ experienced/ highly qualified Acupuncturist..

  • I was terrified of needles but was desperate for pain relief. I am lucky that I live near to the International College of Oriental Medicine and went to see an acupuncturist there. I am happy to say that it did work for me and I am no longer as scared of needles. Some of the needle placement did hurt but a lot of them did not. They also treat the whole person and not just the area giving you pain. You have nothing to lose by giving it a go. Just make sure that they are registered, qualified and insured etc. try to get a personal recommendation from someone. I also visit an Osteopath and have recently started visiting a sports massage therapist. This really helps me to live with my back pain as well as pain caused by osteoarthritis of my hips and other joints. Good luck!

    Best regards,


  • hi

    like you I went for some time before being told I had a slight scoliosis-the surgeon said people with these are more likely to have arthritis and turned out I have osteo arthritis,facet joint trouble-I take the usual painkillers etc and was under the pain clinic for some time.I tried most everything to alleviate the pain and found acupuncture to be consistently the best for me.I went once a month for quite some time.Unfortunately the practitioner has just retired and now I need to find another.I never found acupuncture painful.Keeping moving is probably the best though many times one does not feel like one wants to.

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