Lower Back Pain #3
Short Treatment Length
One of the interesting treatment methods is a short duration needle treatment.
The concept that supports the practice is that the area of trauma only needs a brief interaction (1-5 minutes at most) with a needle to help regulate the QI in an already over traumatized area. A long treatment, especially with strong stimulation may only further irritate rather than moderate the inflammation.
A longer treatment with mild stimulation is usually the case for “tonifying”, or strengthening a patient, where as a strong and short duration treatment would be indicated to “drain” an area with an “excess” condition like a tight muscle as a result of an acute injury or even some disc herniation or local swelling pushing on a nerve root.
I’ve done both with positive effect. Yet it in my experience, it depends if its a chronic condition (noting excess or deficiency conditions ) or an acute injury. A short treatment could also be ideal for someone without much time and it can have a positive effect even with a chronic musculo-skeletal condition.
A 30 minute acupuncture treatment is common and coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), insurance is usually billed in 30 minute increments.
A patient may feel like they are not getting much of a treatment if you only put a needle in for 5 minutes (or even less), but in this case, you need to level with your patient and let them know the situation and a short treatment may be ideal. Depending on his or her judgment of the injured area, an Acupuncturist may not needle directly into an area of an acute trauma, but rather needle around it.
What’s also interesting is that pediatric acupuncture is typically done in an in an out manner since young children and babies cannot be relied upon to stay still for a safe prolonged needle insertion.
If you thought you might try acupuncture if the treatment didn’t take too long, you may consider this as hope for you short-timers.
Thanks for reading!
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