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Dr. Lee’s Case Study #31: Back Pain

back pain woman working with computer. Healthcare and medical concept

Patient: Female, age 32 
Complaint: Back pain. Since 5 years ago, the patient was experiencing progressive pain in the upper, middle, and low back. The pain was intensifying and becoming constant. MRI shows minor arthritis in the spine indicating that most of the pain is from musculo-tendino tension and knots.

Treatment Process: The patient had a total of 6 acupuncture sessions. In the first two weeks, the patient came in twice and once a week thereafter. From the first treatment, the patient noticed progressive relief. However, the patient was advised to rest every hour at work, which was an intensive physical labor all day with only 30 minute break for lunch.

Discussion: Although acupuncture may be helpful, acupuncture treatments cannot be used as a crutch because the body can only take up to what it is built to withstand and recover. Since she is young, a full recovery is expected. But it is not a good idea to push the body over the limit where the problem cannot be resolved and quality of life is affected.

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #28: Low Back Pain and Sciatica

Patient: Male, age 56, civil engineer

Complaints: The patient had chronic low back pain and constant nerve pain down the left leg. He had 3 epidurals and surgery without significant relief.

Treatment Process: Within the first couple of months of treatment at twice per week five years ago, most of the pain was eliminated. Thereafter, he comes in for acupuncture treatment every one or two months when he notices tightness in the left calf.

Discussion: Post-surgical acupuncture is very helpful after removing structural impingement on the sciatic nerve.

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

Dr. Lee’s Case Study #22: Headaches & Cervical Arthritis

Patient: Female, age 54shutterstock_130253858

Complaints: Constant, uninterrupted headache since 12 years ago. Most of the pain is in the occiput (back of the skull) and forehead. Forehead pain is more debilitating. She always wakes up in the mornings with headaches of increased intensity. Recent physical therapy relieved the headache from 7-8/10 down to 4-5/10 but it had crept back up to 6-7/10.

Treatment process: The patient comes in for acupuncture twice a week. The first visit temporarily relieved the headache but was significant enough to be encouraging. After the second visit, the patient began to notice less intensity of headaches in morning. By the sixth visit, the patient is noticing several mornings out of the week without forehead pain and less stiffness in the occiput.

Discussion: In acupuncture, the patient’s prior history and current status are often not relevant. Whether a headache is intractable, not properly diagnosed as a certain type, or had failed to get relief with conventional medical approaches, acupuncture often works very well. Acupuncture is successful because it affects the physiology in different ways.

Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.

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