Natural and Alternative Back Pain Treatment Options

Back Pain Treatment {introduction}

Back pain is an aching feeling in the back, and can occur suddenly (like when lifting an object) or slowly progress with age. The intensity of back pain ranges from a sudden, acute pain to a chronic, mild pain. Back pain can be the symptom of several different conditions, including a physical injury, herniated disk, kidney stones, pregnancy, scoliosis, arthritis and more.

Below you will find alternative and natural treatment options including those from a Chinese Medicine perspective for Back Pain.

TCM Diagnostic Patterns Related to Back Pain

Listed below are Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnostic patterns that are commonly involved with this western medical condition/symptom. Properly applied, Chinese Medicine (including acupuncture and herbal medicine) treats patterns not individual symptoms/conditions which may better account for the range of symptoms often experienced by individuals. Pattern diagnosis/treatment is a crucial part of using Chinese Medicine for disease prevention instead of focusing on solely symptomatic treatments as is somewhat more common in western medicine. For more on this concept, please read What Does Acupuncture Treat? Or Treating the "Cause" and not the "Symptoms".

There are no tcm differential pattern diagnoses listed for this pattern at this time.

Herbal Formulas for Back Pain Available From Our Store

Herbal Formulas

You may click on any of the products below for more information, or view all formulas listed by condition.

Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan - Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Joint Pain Herbal Formula
Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan - Arthritis, Sciatica, Rheumatic Back Pain Herbal Formula

Uses: Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis, Joint Pain, Sciatica, Back Pain.

Jin Gu Die Da Wan - Tendon and Bone Healing Herbal Formula
Jin Gu Die Da Wan - Tendon and Bone Healing Herbal Formula

Uses: Tendon, Bone and Joint Injuries. Jin Gu Die Da Wan/Pian literally "tendon and bone injury healing" formula, is a classic formula for traumatic injury to the tendons and or bones....

Jin Kui Shen Qi Wan - Back Pain, Fatigue, Premature Ejaculation Herbal Formula
Jin Kui Shen Qi Wan - Back Pain, Fatigue, Premature Ejaculation Herbal Formula

Uses: Back Pain, Low Libido, Erectile Dysfunction. Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan/Pian (Kidney Qi Pill from the Golden Cabinet).  This classic formula is for kidney yang deficiency.  Symptoms may include low...

Liu Wei Di Huang Wan - Weakness, Dizziness, Sore Low Back Herbal Formula
Liu Wei Di Huang Wan - Dizziness, Weakness Herbal Formula

Uses: Weakness, Dizziness, Sweating, Sore Low Back, Diabetes. Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Liu Wei Di Huang Pian, YinViveTM, Rehmannia six, Six Flavor Teapills) is a highly regarded Chinese herbal formula for...

Peony & Licorice Teapills - Muscle Cramps, Muscle Spasms, Pain Herbal Formula
Peony & Licorice Teapills - Muscle Cramps, Muscle Spasms, Pain Herbal Formula

Uses: Muscle Spasms, Muscle Cramps, Pain. Peony & Licorice Teapills (Shao Yao Gan Cao Wan)is a traditional Chinese formula that softens the Liver, benefits yin, eases cramps and stops pain. This Chinese medicine is...

Shen Tong Zhu Yu Wan - Shoulder, Leg, Back Pain Herbal Formula
Shen Tong Zhu Yu Wan

Uses: Shoulder, Leg, and/or Back Pain. Shen Tong Zhu Yu Wan/Pian (Stasis Pain Clearing Pill) is a formula that helps reduce pain.  It promotes blood and qi circulation and clears blood stasis...

Shou Wu Wan - Hair Loss, Graying, Memory, Low Sperm Count, Menopause
Shou Wu Wan - Hair Issues, Sexual Issues, Fatigue and Weakness

Uses: Hair Loss, Graying of Hair, Muscle, Bone and Joint Weakness, Memory, Menopause, Low Sperm Count, Morphology and Motility Issues.  Shou Wu Wan is an adaptation of the formula Qi Bao Mei Ran Dan....

YinVive - Weakness, Dizziness, Sore Low Back Herbal Formula
YinVive - Dizziness, Weakness Herbal Formula

Uses: Weakness, Dizziness, Sweating, Sore Low Back, Diabetes.

Zheng Gu Shui - External Analgesic Liniment
Zheng Gu Shui - External Analgesic Liniment

Uses:  Bone Injuries, Sprains, Strains, Arthritis.  Zheng Gu Shui is a Traditional Chinese Medicine liquid formula used to heal bone injuries, muscle aches, sprains, strains, arthritis,...

Zuo Gu Shen Jing Tong Pian - Sciatica, Arthritis Herbal Formula
Zuo Gu Shen Jing Tong Pian - Sciatica, Arthritis Herbal Formula

Uses: Sciatica, Arthritis.

Zuo Gui Wan - ED, Amenorrhea, Hot Flashes, Infertility Herbal Formula
Zuo Gui Wan - Erectile Dysfunction, Infertility Herbal Formula

Uses: Libido, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Infertility, Hot Flashes, Amenorrhea, Chronic Low Back Pain.  Zuo Gui Wan (Zuo Gui Pian, Zuo Yui Yin) is an herbal formula for sexual wellness and menstrual...

Acupuncture Treatment Protocols

Listed below are articles describing related TCM diagnoses and acupuncture treatment points. These generally require an understanding of basic TCM Theory, however, general readers may find the protocols illustrative of how Chinese Medicine views and treats this condition.

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Submitted Case Studies

Back Pain related articles

Below are articles related to this condition submitted by our practitioner members. See our practitioner member section for all articles.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Mon, 07/07/2014 - 9:36am

    Acupuncture and the entire range of Chinese Medicine tools (cupping, herbal medicine, tuina, etc.) are used for a wide variety of acute and chronic pain issues.  Low back pain, which this study looked at more closely, is a global problem that affects around 80% of the population at one point or another in their lifetime.  There are a host of studies and clinical evidence that shows acupuncture being extremely useful for low back pain and related conditions.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 09/25/2012 - 1:33pm

    Moxibustion is an externally applied herbal technique commonly used within Chinese Medicine (see What Is Moxibustion? for more information).  Moxibustion has a wide range of uses and is often recommended by acupuncturists as a home/self treatment and used in many clinics during patient visits as well.  Recently researchers from the Acupuncture-Moxibustion department of the General Hospital of the Chinese PLA in Beijing conducted a study to evaluable the effectiveness of moxibustion for myofa

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 11/01/2011 - 9:27am

    Tai Chi has an enormous array of health benefits and has been heavily studied.  Benefits range from improving mood and energy levels to cardiovascular health to muscle strength and balance.  Researchers from the George Institute for Global Health and the University of Sydney in Australia recently conducted a study looking at Tai Chi as an aid for pain and disability - in this study from chronic low back pain.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 09/27/2011 - 1:34pm

    A number of countries include acupuncture anasthesia and pain control techniques both within and following surgery to better aid patients and reduce their need and complications from higher doses of western medication.  These techniques are best when acupuncture is heavily integrated into the western medical environment and their is mutual understanding among practitioners.  In many of these settings nurses and/or physicians can be trained to perform basic (i.e. non-diagnostic) acupuncture for specific cases.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 09/13/2011 - 1:36pm

    Researchers within the department of anesthesia at Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang China recently conducted a study evaluating the effectiveness of an acupuncture "extra" point for post-operative pain.  Researchers recruited 120 patients who were undergoing routine abdominal surgery and randomly divided them into an acupuncture group and a western medication group (Sufentanil).

  • purenergy's picture
    Contributor ~ purenergy
    Submitted On Wed, 05/04/2011 - 11:34am

          In 1920, Hans Bergen measured variations in the voltage of the brain and discovered there exist 2 main properties regarding brain waves: amplitude and frequency.  Amplitude being the fullness or strength of bio electrical current via synapses in cells of our body and frequency refers to the rate of pulsing or vibratory cyclical wave like movement between the firing cells.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 03/22/2011 - 8:59am

    As well as fertility and birthing issues, acupuncture is very often used during pregnancy as it is both effective and in some cases there are no viable western alternatives.  Breech position, back pain, morning sickness, propensity towards miscarriages, and more are all commonly treated.  There are a few points, however, that are "forbidden" or "contraindicated" during pregnacy (our list is here).

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 11/16/2010 - 12:33pm

    Animal studies of acupuncture are always interesting as they are a reasonable way of removing the placebo effect (to some degree) out of the healing equation.  In the American Jounral of Chinese Medicine researchers recently conducted a study to look at acupuncture for pain from a disc hernation.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Wed, 10/20/2010 - 9:56am

    While not very common in the US, China and other countries who have better integration of acupuncture into their hospital systems use acupuncture to limit the drugs required for anesthesia.  It is well known that this works but what points to use specifically and how much western medication can be reduced is still a topic of discussion.  Within this study, researchers from the Yueyang Integrated Medical Hospital in Shanghai tried to illustrate the most effective combinations.

  • Judith Poole's picture
    Contributor ~ Judith Poole
    Submitted On Wed, 09/22/2010 - 7:31am

    A person came to see me with “lumbago.” She told me that a physician said it means she has a virus in her muscles. I’ve never heard of such a thing. But I suppose anything is possible. In any case, I don’t think it matters if there’s a virus or not. I believe we can help her feel better.

  • Chad Dupuis's picture
    Contributor ~ Chad Dupuis
    Submitted On Tue, 07/27/2010 - 11:43am

    Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are commonly used to treat a broad range of musculoskeletal problems.  The costs of these conditions to each individuals quality of life is often high and may lead to very serious secondary issues such as drug addiction, mental health problems and more.  With this study a group of researchers from the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam looked at whether or not improvements were made in subjects quality of life from acupuncture.

Forum posts related to Back Pain

Listed below are forum posts related to this condition. You can click on the posts to submit comments. If you would like to submit a forum post/question related to this condition, please click to submit. For all recent activity see our forum.

  • carol walker's picture
    Submitted On Fri, 05/09/2014 - 4:36pm
    Contributor ~ carol walker
    I have been seeing this acupuncturist for several years, last week felt great. I was there this week, she has me lay on my stomach and has needles in lower back, I have sciatia, then flips me over for another 45 mins. I am usually a bit sore, but I...
    Comments on this post (4)

  • AlvaroCastro's picture
    Submitted On Fri, 05/09/2014 - 9:33am
    Contributor ~ AlvaroCastro

    Hi, a year ago my wife an accident he suffered a back injury, shoulder, arm and also talk about a pinched nerve. I can not raise my right arm above my head. My wife is in therapy. What advice can I recommend to me. thanks

    Comments on this post (1)

  • jennychambers's picture
    Submitted On Sat, 04/05/2014 - 11:21am
    Contributor ~ jennychambers

    I have a 16 year old patient with hypermobility syndrome which causes her a great deal of pain especially in her lower back and hips. Has anyone had a successfull treatment for a similar case? 


    Comments on this post (1)

  • Chrissy0804's picture
    Submitted On Fri, 11/22/2013 - 3:39am
    Contributor ~ Chrissy0804

    I started acupuncture for some back problems of an annular tear and slight herniation. He immediately put me on the 3 day a week plan with herbal tea and his product line of lotion. I did this for three weeks and felt great as though I was...

    Comments on this post (4)

  • Apache0c's picture
    Submitted On Wed, 11/20/2013 - 4:16pm
    Contributor ~ Apache0c

    Just as the title says, I went to the acupuncturist yesterday and when I got in the shower this morning I still had a needle in my leg. How should I react to this? Please advise.


    Comments on this post (2)

  • pugsy00's picture
    Submitted On Wed, 09/25/2013 - 2:27pm
    Contributor ~ pugsy00

    I've had multiple patients in the past year experience dramatic improvement from lumbar pain after their first treatment, only to regress by the second treatment and never reach that level of improvement again.  Their western medical dx...

    Comments on this post (2)

  • PennyR's picture
    Submitted On Sat, 11/17/2012 - 8:46am
    Contributor ~ PennyR

    I am deeply troubled by some acupuncture to my lower back that I received from an NHS physio a week ago. He said he was only using short needles in very safe points, but when he put the needle in to my lower back on the left side,...

    Comments on this post (1)

  • jiffy88's picture
    Submitted On Tue, 09/11/2012 - 3:47pm
    Contributor ~ jiffy88

    Hi, I'm 28 years male and have the conditions listed.

    My two main concerns are my loose stools and erecticle dysfunction.

    Comments on this post (5)

  • mashtee2003's picture
    Submitted On Wed, 07/18/2012 - 9:58am
    Contributor ~ mashtee2003


    I am looking for suggestions on alternative ways to work on my own back points. I give myself acupuncutre treatments on all the front points, and would like to be able to work on my backpoints

    (especially Du-4 and bladder points...

    Comments on this post (15)

  • ranajit11's picture
    Submitted On Wed, 07/11/2012 - 1:30am
    Contributor ~ ranajit11

    My youngest sister in law(32) has been suffering from Lower Back Pain for about 5 years. A portion of her lower back bone is enlarged. She had taken alopathic medicine time to time with no good result. What should be the acupressure points...

    Comments on this post (2)

  • genesis's picture
    Submitted On Wed, 06/20/2012 - 9:29am
    Contributor ~ genesis

    Hello. I hope someone can help me. My wife has terrible acute chronic lower back pain, for 8 months now. All conventional medical treatment has thus far failed her. What has worked was some acupuncture WITHOUT needles that she had down in...

    Comments on this post (2)

  • Needananswer's picture
    Submitted On Fri, 05/18/2012 - 10:23pm
    Contributor ~ Needananswer

    I actually think that I got peripheral neuropathy from an acupuncture treatment I got 10 days ago.
    I suffer from iliotibial band syndrome (both hips) plus low back pain.

    Comments on this post (7)

  • Newmoon's picture
    Submitted On Mon, 01/30/2012 - 4:58pm
    Contributor ~ Newmoon

    I have always needled points on the spine in an upwards direction, with a shallow insertion between the vertebrae.  This is the way I was taught to needle over the spine.  However, I have noted a few texts which state these points...

    Comments on this post (2)

  • lakshmi80_2007's picture
    Submitted On Mon, 01/09/2012 - 12:13pm
    Contributor ~ lakshmi80_2007

    I am looking too fat, i want to reduce the weight use of acupunture point, please mention the points and how to do my self

    Comments on this post (2)

  • jacksmum26's picture
    Submitted On Sat, 11/26/2011 - 9:57am
    Contributor ~ jacksmum26

    hi im hoping for some advice, i have had a prolapsed disc and terrible back problems for over a year now, i have tried everything the doctors recommended and at last was offered accupunture which i had heard was GREAT for back pain so i was...

    Comments on this post (7)

  • Kitsune's picture
    Submitted On Thu, 10/27/2011 - 5:06am
    Contributor ~ Kitsune


    Just a quick question: I have a patient with Spondylolisthesis (L5/S1, with pain and numbness down the right leg as well), who finds it difficult to lie flat on her stomach for the actupuncture sessions (and was also advised not to...

    Comments on this post (6)

  • pen101's picture
    Submitted On Thu, 09/29/2011 - 5:16am
    Contributor ~ pen101

     I had my first treatment a few days ago for a back problem that got severly worst last may.

    It was that bad that I had to relearn how to breathe.

    Physicians, chiro 's..couldn't help.


    Comments on this post (5)

  • lynchun's picture
    Submitted On Tue, 05/17/2011 - 9:32am
    Contributor ~ lynchun

    Hi All,

    i stumbled across this forum and hoped that it is a good place to consult some practitioners or knowledgable people for a condition or complex of conditions that I have been trying to treat in myself with the help of various...

    Comments on this post (7)

  • rachel76's picture
    Submitted On Sat, 11/20/2010 - 10:36am
    Contributor ~ rachel76

    can anyone recomend an acupunctuist in Vilnius Lithuania who practices traditional acupuncture?

    thank you.

    Comments on this post (1)

  • sabineba's picture
    Submitted On Sun, 10/10/2010 - 4:12pm
    Contributor ~ sabineba


    Dear Chad,

    I'm giving my grandmother (94) weakly some bodywork.
    She has been suffering from a flu-like low-grade fever for several weeks now and it won't go away. She also complains of pain in the joints...

    Comments on this post (4)

  • gottago's picture
    Submitted On Sat, 09/25/2010 - 8:02am
    Contributor ~ gottago


    I have had upper back pain. I usually starts during ovulation and subsides after my cycle.

    I have tried work-outs, stretching, and laying on th floor.

    Any suggestions, I would reallly appreciate.


    Comments on this post (2)

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    The TCM Theory section for this condition has not yet been submitted.

    Acupuncture Points for Back Pain

    Below you will find acupuncture points relevant to this condition. The points listed below are by no means the only relevant points, rather we list empirical or commonly used points as well as those applicable to use with acupressure as a self-help remedy.

    Professional Practitioner Information

    Below you will find links to technical information largely of interest to professional practitioners.

    TCM Herbs and Formulas for Back Pain

    TCM Herbal Formulas for Back Pain

    Listed below are TCM Herbal Formulas related to this condition.
    General Indications Functional Grouping Combinations
    Die Da Wan - Trauma Healing Pill - TCM Herbal Formula

    Useful for many types of traumatic injuries, broken bones, sprains, fractures, etc. anywhere in the body.  Also useful for fixed abdominal masses, ulcerations, sciatica, arthritis, pelvic inflammatory disease and angina among others.

    In the case of traumatic injury the tongue and pulse may hold less clinical significance, for other conditions the Pulse may be wiry and the Tongue may be darker or show darkness in specific areas.

    Invigorate the Blood from Traumatic Injury, Invigorate the Blood
    Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan - Kidney Qi Pill from the Golden Cabinet - TCM Herbal Formula

    Kidney yang deficiency signs - low back pain, weakness in the legs, knees, low back, low energy, low libido.

    The Pulse will be empty or frail and the Tongue will be pale and swollen with a thin white moist coat.

    Warm and Tonify the Yang, Tonify
    Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan - Solitary Hermit Teapills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Dispel Wind-Dampness, Expel Dampness
    Xiao Huo Luo Wan - Minor Invigorate Channels Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Dispel Wind-Dampness, Expel Dampness
    Shen Tong Zhu Yu Wan - Remove Stagnant Blood from a Painful Body Pills - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Invigorate the Blood and Dispel Blood Stasis, Invigorate the Blood
    Shao Yao Gan Cao Wan - Peony and Licorice Decoction - TCM Herbal Formula

    Coming Soon...

    Regulate and Harmonize the Liver and Spleen, Harmonize

    Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs for Back Pain

    Below you will find Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs relevant to this condition. See our TCM Herbal Database for more details.

    There are no tcm herbs listed for this condition at this time.

    Western Herbs and Back Pain Medical Information

    Western herbs for Back Pain

    Below you will find Western herbs relevant to this condition. See our Western Herbal Database for more details.

    There are no western herbs listed for this condition at this time.

    Back Pain - Western Medicine Information

    Below you will find general Western Medicine information relevant to this condition.