Get Relief With Acupuncture For Herniated Discs


A herniated disc, or slipped disc, occurs when one of the rubbery discs that sit between the vertebrae in the spinal column gets pushed out of place and presses on surrounding nerves. Under normal circumstances, these disks act as a cushion, absorbing impact as you move and twist your spine. They also support flexibility by reducing friction between the vertebrae. But when these discs rupture, they can end up causing a lot of pain, and contribute to widespread musculoskeletal dysfunction. If you’re dealing with a herniated disc, you may be looking for all-natural relief. Getting acupuncture for herniated discs can help. 

Acupuncture improves blood flow to the herniated disc which soothes inflammation and supports the healing process. The increase in oxygen and red blood cells to the injured tissues improves nerve and muscle function, all while reducing pain naturally.    

Acupuncture relieves nerve pain caused by herniated discs

Herniated disc pain isn’t like the pain you might feel from a muscle tear. Herniated discs cause nerve pain, a horrible tingling, pins-and-needles pain similar to neuropathy that leads to weakness and numbness. To make matters worse, the pain from a herniated disc can radiate to surrounding areas. A slipped disc in the lower back can lead to pain in the mid-back and down the legs. Similarly, a slipped disc in the neck can lead to upper back pain and even migraines

Nerve pain can be tricky to treat because it’s often unresponsive to traditional painkillers. That’s because, in many cases, nerve pain is a result of dysfunction of the nerves themselves, not necessarily the result of inflammation (although it’s worth noting that inflammation can still play a role in herniated disc pain. More on this in a minute).

The good news is that acupuncture can be used to alleviate the nerve pain associated with a herniated disc. Acupuncture increases circulation to the herniated disc, bringing a flood of oxygenated red blood cells to the damaged nerves. By providing the body with the building blocks it needs to make repairs, acupuncture can dramatically enhance the healing process and restore healthy nerve function. 

Acupuncture has been shown to support the regeneration of nerves, making it a suitable therapy for other nerve-related conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and Bell’s palsy. In some cases, electro-acupuncture can be even more effective. 

Acupuncture restores healthy muscle function

The pain from a herniated disc means you have to compensate during movement. If your back hurts, this can significantly alter the way you move when you get in your car, or climb up the steps to your house, for example. A slipped disc in the neck can be just as problematic, especially if you have a desk job that requires you to look at a computer all day. 

The pain from a herniated disc inevitably alters the way you move. Having to compensate for the pain places extra strain on surrounding muscle groups, leading to musculoskeletal dysfunction in other parts of the body. When you rely on certain muscle groups to do a job they aren’t supposed to do, it doesn’t take long before they start to seize up — and that means even more pain. 

Acupuncture can be used to release deep-seated tension and muscle knots you may have developed as a result of your herniated disc. This allows your muscles to relax fully, which also alleviates pain. When your muscles are finally able to relax properly, this supports their ability to contract properly as well.

Acupuncture reduces inflammation 

Sometimes a disc slips as a result of musculoskeletal dysfunction. When the muscles surrounding the vertebrae become weak due to poor posture, incorrect movement during exercise, or physical abnormalities like one leg being shorter than the other, this can put you at an increased risk of developing a herniated disc. 

However, sometimes a disc slips as a result of acute trauma. A sports injury or workplace accident may cause a herniated disc. In these cases, it’s more likely that inflammation is playing a significant role in a patient’s pain, rather than nerve pain alone. 

If inflammation is making your herniated disc pain worse, then acupuncture may prove to be doubly effective for you. As needles are inserted into the skin, this triggers an increase in circulation. Better blood flow to the injured tissues surrounding the herniated disc enables the body to flush pro-inflammatory cells, like cytokines, out of the area. 

Acupuncture soothes inflammation, reducing the heat and swelling in injured tissues which may be pressing up against the nerves surrounding your spine. By alleviating the pressure placed on these nerves, acupuncture’s anti-inflammatory effects can help relieve your pain. 

Acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins

Have you ever noticed how when you’re enjoying yourself, you’re less aware of your pain? You can thank endorphins for this phenomenon. The body produces endorphins in response to pleasant stimuli, like eating your favorite dessert or watching a movie with your friends. Endorphins have a morphine-like effect on the brain, latching onto opioid receptors and mitigating the pain response

Endorphins raise the body’s pain threshold naturally. So whether you’re dealing with nerve pain or pain caused by inflammation, endorphins can help you cope. And what helps your body release more endorphins? You guessed it! Acupuncture

Acupuncture plays an important role, not just in the production of endorphins, but in the regulation of several neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). While serotonin and dopamine enhance your mood and promote feelings of wellness, motivation, and satisfaction, GABA plays a crucial role in pain management. 

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that blocks excitatory nerve transmissions, calming the nerve pain associated with herniated discs. GABA also reduces stress and promotes relaxation, making it easier to get comfortable and catch some Z’s, even with a herniated disc. 

Get in touch with us today

Ready to schedule your first appointment and finally put your herniated disc pain behind you? Contact our office today, and our friendly staff will help you get started. 

At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we have years of experience treating patients from all walks of life. From nerve pain to muscle pain, from allergies to migraines, we’ll listen to your health concerns and create a customized treatment approach that works for you. 

Book an appointment with us today and discover for yourself the remarkable healing powers of acupuncture. 

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