Spinal disc herniation can happen on your neck, upper and lower back. The most common spinal levels for disc herniation are the L4 and L5, which is level between the 4th and 5th lumbar and L5, S1, which is level between the 5th lumbar and the 1st sacrum bone.
The lumbar herniated disc or disc protrusion causes back pain and leg pain. The human spinal column consists of a series of vertebral bones. Disc is a cartilage consisting of an outer ligament layer called the annulus fibrous and a soft, jelly like substance in the middle surrounded by the annulus fibrous called the nucleus pulposis. The spinal disc functions as a shock absorbber between each of the vertebral bones. The spinal disc protects the spinal cord from the stress of our daily activities such as heavy lifting. It also helps to maintain flexibility of the spine.
A disc protrusion / lumbar herniated disc could have been caused by trauma or acute injury. It can be an age-related degenerated change due to the loss of the water content inside the nucleus pulposis. Each of these may lead to the tear of the outer annulus fibrous allowing the jelly like nucleus pulposis to shift out, pinch the spinal nerve near nearby, produce pain, numbness tingling and muscle weakness of the low back and lower extremities. Common signs and symptoms of disc protrusion or lumbar herniated disc include:
• Mild to severe pain in the low back
• Numbness, radiated pain and weakness of buttock, legs and feet
• Shooting pain when coughing or sneezing
• Back muscle spasms
Acupuncture treatment for herniated disc
Acupuncture is based on the principle of the "pattern of disharmony". Has been practiced for more than 2000 years in China. It's one of the components belonging to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM theory, one of the important etiologies of herniated disc is kidney and liver deficiency, which means deficiency based on the energetic level of the meridian / energy pathway that relates to the kidney and liver organs. The TCM define the 14 meridian / energy channels flow around human body. The kidney and the liver meridian channels are flowing through the lower leg and the abdomen. They start from the feet and closely relate to the lower back and leg regions. Acupuncture treatment is to improve the flow of the energy along the pathway, and maintain the balance of your body and the mind. To solve the problems of the deficiency of kidney and liver, several acupuncture problems will be inserted to the selected acupuncture points (the strategic points) along two sides of the lower back region. The goal of the treatment is to reinforce and balance the kidney energy called Qi (pronounced chee) reduce pain and inflammation, and promote the absorption of the herniated disc back to the normal position.
Acupuncture has been practiced in China for thousands of years. It has been popularly used in the United States since President Richard Nixon's delegation to China in 1972 when the press reported its use in China.