Back Pain

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

Back Pain Connections

Below you will find various relationships to the concept of and potential clinical approaches for back pain. It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine (and most related systems), treatment for "back pain" is rarely designed with the resulting "back pain" exclusively in mind.

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

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When developing an acupuncture protocol a practitioner is very often focusing on the causal diagnoses in Chinese Medicine terms, not on the condition itself. A potential range of underlying factors and approaches for back pain are described in our acupuncture protocol page - "acupuncture for low back pain - treatment protocols " .

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • EX Huatuojiaji at L4 (Sides of Spine at L4)
    .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes…
    L4 innervates the large intestine and is used for a range o…
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  • EX Huatuojiaji at L5 (Sides of Spine at L5)
    .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes…
    L5 innervates the descending colon and is used for the enti…
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  • EX Huatuojiaji at S1 (Sides of Spine at S1)
    In the area around the 1st sacral foramen, UB 31
    S1 influences the ureter and is used along with S2 and S3 f…
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  • KD 3 (Great Ravine)
    In depression midway between the tip of the medial malleolu…
    Tonify KD Qi, Yin or Yang Deficiencies from any etiology. …
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  • KD 4 (Large Goblet)
    Posterior and inferior to the medial malleolus in a depress…
    Luo Connecting Point - can be used to treat the LI (opposit…
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  • KD 7 (Recover Flow)
    2 cun above KD 3 on the anterior border of the achilles ten…
    Tonifies KD Yang, especially with respect to water regulati…
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  • LU 5 (Cubit Marsh)
    At the cubital crease on the radial side of the biceps brac…
    He Sea Point - useful for counterflow Qi/diarrhea, hot skin…
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  • ST 9 (Man's Prognosis)
    Level with the tip of the Adam's Apple on the anterior bord…
    In ancient times the ST Qi was assessed by palpating the pu…
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  • ST 31 (Thigh Joint)
    On 2 lines connecting the ASIS and the superiolateral corne…
    ST 31, ST 32 & ST 33 are all useful for Bi-Syndromes a/…
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  • ST 32 (Crouching Rabbit)
    6 cun above the superior lateral border of the patella on t…
    ST 31, ST 32 & ST 33 are all useful for Bi-Syndromes a/…
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  • UB 10 (Celestial Pillar)
    1.3 cun lateral to GV 15 in a depression or .5 cun above th…
    Relieves pain - neck issues, stiffness, ROM, occipital head…
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  • UB 24 (Sea of Qi Shu)
    1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with L3.
    Generally used as a local point for back pain.  General wea…
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  • UB 25 (Large Intestine Shu)
    1.5 cun lateral to GV 3, level with L4.
    Main point for low back pain especially when related to con…
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  • UB 26 (Origin Pass Shu)
    1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with L5.
    Local point for clearing the channel - low back pain, both …
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  • UB 28 (Bladder Shu)
    1.5 cun lateral to GV line, level with 2nd PSF.
    Main point for all Bladder issues: from damp heat (painful …
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  • UB 29 (Central Backbone Shu)
    1.5 cun lateral to the GV line, level with the 3rd PSF.
    Generally a local point for back pain and/or stiffness, her…
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  • UB 30 (White Ring Shu)
    1.5 cun lateral to the GV line, level with the 4th PSF.
    Local point for low back, sacrum, tailbone and/or hip pain.…
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  • UB 31 (Upper Bone Hole)
    On the sacrum at the midpoint of the PSIS and the PML, leve…
    UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Li…
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  • UB 32 (Second Bone Hole)
    On the sacrum medial and inferior to the PSIS, level with t…
    UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Li…
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  • UB 33 (Central Bone Hole)
    On the sacrum medial and inferior to UB 32, level with the …
    UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Li…
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  • UB 34 (Lower Bone Hole)
    On the sarcum lateral to GV 2, level with the 4th PSF.
    UB 31, UB 32, UB 33 & UB 34 together form the "Eight Li…
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  • UB 36 (Support)
    On posterior side of the thigh at the midpoint of the infer…
    Low back pain/sciatica where pain runs down the posterior a…
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  • UB 37 (Gate of Abundance)
    6 cun below UB 36 on a line joining UB 36 and UB 40.
    Strenghtens the spine and alleviates pain - low back pain, …
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  • UB 39 (Bend Yang)
    Lateral to UB 40 on the medial border of the tendon of bice…
    Harmonize the triple warmer, damp heat conditions effecting…
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  • UB 40 (Bend Middle)
    Midpoint of the transverse crease of the popliteal fossa, b…
    As the Lumbar Command Point, useful for all lumbar related …
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