Is there a relationship between acupuncture treatment and postural realignment?

Abstract

The methodologies of literature review and pilot study are employed to highlight the relevance of posture in low back pain- including sciatica, of myofascial or musculo-skeletal origin. The therapeutic option of employing acupuncture to influence postural realignment in the treatment of low back pain is explored via the pilot study. Photographic images, case notes, SF36 and comprehensive health appraisal questionnaires are employed to record observed and subjective effects of treatment.

Approaches to diagnosis include traditional Chinese medicine methods of observation and palpation, along with the use of Western theories of nerve root pathologies and dermatomes. The treatment strategy highlights the use of point selections due to point actions, in accordance with the traditions of Chinese medicine, as well as more recent trigger point theories.

Approaches to the postural aspects of low back pain treatment in other therapeutic traditions are discussed and contrasted to acupuncture. These include the mainstream treatment forms of physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic, as well as the complementary therapies remedial massage, Rolfing and Alexander Technique.

In conclusion, it is suggested that significant postural change can be observed after a series of acupuncture treatment and that the pilot study participants gain some significant perceived benefits. Recommendations are made for further research.