Needles in my back? But my back doesn’t hurt: How Multisegmental Acupuncture Treatments Work

Woman with electroacupuncture needles in back, lying facedown

If you were to ask any one of our past or current patients about what types of treatments we employ here at Endeavour, the answer would inevitably come back something like this – “They do this really cool (and kinda weird) type of treatment called electro-acupuncture.”

Yes, the rumors are true! Electro-acupuncture is far and away one of the most powerful tools we use to accelerate and maintain the recovery of our patients. Today I want to talk about one of our most valuable electro-acupuncture techniques that we utilize with our patients – The Multisegmental Treatment.

A multisegmental treatment is an electro-acupuncture technique involving the targeted treatment of multiple spinal segments at the same time. The treatment involves the gentle insertion of multiple sterile needles into the muscles on either side of the spine at the level of the spinal segments that we want to target. The needles are then stimulated with a low-frequency current. The purpose of the electrical stimulation is to normalize the function of the spinal cord, specifically the segments we have found during our assessment to be contributing to the pain and movement dysfunction.

Acupuncture needles being inserted into woman's back

By restoring proper function at those segments, outgoing commands to the muscles and joints can occur uninterrupted, which produces smoother movement, better flexibility, and improved strength. In addition, incoming pain messages from the injured tissue can be properly filtered and distributed to prevent irritation of the spinal segment associated with the area of injury. This helps to control pain but also improves the long term healing and prognosis for injury recovery.

The changes after the treatment are both quick and long-lasting. This is because the treatment targets the nervous system as a whole; not only in the back where the needles are inserted, but also in the arms and legs where the stimulated nerves travel to.

So how do you know if you would benefit from one of these multi-segmental treatments?

Typically we use this treatment on two types of patients. The first group is those that come to us with pain related to poor movement that has built up over a longer period of time. If pain and movement dysfunction have persisted for a while it is likely the spinal segment has become involved. Our thorough functional assessments can easily pick up on the clear signs when this is the case.

The second group includes patients who are not in any pain that we see on a maintenance basis. In these patients the multisegmental treatment is utilized to improve their strength, mobility and movement patterns to prevent injury and improve their performance/functioning rather than treat any current pain they are experiencing.

Are you in one of these two groups? Maybe it’s time you found out what electro-acupuncture can do for your body and your movement!

Until then,

Joseph

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