Harris is a 45-year-old, otherwise healthy man suffering from lower back pain. He over exerted himself lifting a heavy box from the floor. He did not experience immediate pain until the following morning. He complained that his pain was very severe and had significantly affected his movement. He stated that he experienced sharp pain associated with every movement. The pain radiated downward over the buttocks and both legs. He had no other symptoms, and an MRI of his back was normal. The patient received several sessions of massage, but his symptoms and pain did not subside. As a result, he is here to receive acupuncture treatment.
Chinese medicine and modern medicine have radically different concepts regarding the etiology of back pain: Chinese concept of pathological changes is as follows. The local muscles of the lower back were injured followed by overexertion. Consequently, the circulation of blood was retarded, which led to blood stasis. The development of blood stasis intensifies the pain and restriction of movement. On the other hand, modern medicine interprets the pain in terms of damage to anatomical structures. Following the local muscle injury, inflammation occurred causing local release of lactic acid and substance P, which worsens the inflammation. Owing to pain and fear of pain, abnormal posturing is adopted to guard against pain and limited movement develops. The abnormal posture causes further inflammation that initiates the development of chronic low back pain.
Describe your treatment as an acupuncturist?
Manual acupuncture is administered include at the UB 63, and patient experiences instant relief of his low back pain. Other points considered include UB 57 and GB 34. UB 63 is an acupoint located on the lateral side of the foot, directly below the anterior border of the external malleolus, on the lower border of the cuboid bone. This particular point is called Jin Men, the Xi Cleft point in Chinese acupuncture and the intersection point of the bladder and Yang Wei meridians.
Harris responds to acupuncture therapy and he returns to normalcy. He is very grateful for your expertise.
Two years later, he develops a headache. It is an episodic and right-sided headache distributed along the temporal region. The headache is frequently triggered by stress and anxiety. The headache is fixed in the right temporal region, and the pain becomes worse when the patient feels sad or upset. In addition to headache, he suffers from occasional left-sided chest pain, which is not severe. His right upper arm feels uncomfortable, but there is no actual pain or limitation of movement. He sees a pain specialist, and acupuncture is his first choice. Therefore, he is back to consult you. You make the following diagnosis: right-sided headache represents obstruction in the channel, association of the pain with emotional changeless Yang dysfunction. Left-sided chest pain is associated with poor circulation of Qi in the chest.
According to the Chinese theory of headache, the right-sided headache is considered the lesser Yang channel and gallbladder Qi obstruction.
Briefly describe how modern medicine would interpret Harris' condition? There is no single cause for stress headache (tension headache). In some people, this tension headache is caused by tightened muscle in the back of the neck and scalp or permanent structural change. In others, it is not the cause.
Describe your acupuncture treatment?
Manual acupuncture at the GB 20, GB 21, Li 3, and GV20 is one of the master analgesic points for any pain related to head and neck. GV20 is considered to have a calming, sedative effect. Other acupuncture points to be considered are GB20 - a local point for the neck muscle. Please refer to www.yinyanghouse.com for the locations of acupuncture points.
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