Low Back Pain

LBP white maleLow back pain (LBP) is one of the most common conditions seen in medical practices. While muscles are the most common cause, bones (vertebrae, hip or sacral bones), intervertebral disks, nerves or pelvic problems all can contribute to pain in the low back.

Injury, repetitive use, wear and tear, internal medicine problems, and other conditions may cause irritation/ inflammation of the back muscles, bones or disks. Occasionally, extra bone growths (arthritis) or disk abnormalities may place pressure on nerves exiting the spinal cord, causing nearby low back muscles to contract and exacerbate muscle tightness and/or pain. Often, more than one problem exists, and muscle contraction significantly contributes to a portion of the pain. There are more serious conditions affecting this area as well, some requiring surgery. [1]

For more detailed information on the various causes and types of low back pain, click here.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) identifies the cause of low back as “Kidney Yin/Qi Deficiency”. The “Kidney System” stores the most basic “fuel” an organism needs to stay alive. As we age, the stores deplete, and various back problems may ensue. Acupuncture has a very long and effective history addressing pain of all sorts, especially low back pain. [2], [3]

Acupuncture, Trigger Point Therapy, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Neurological Scalp Acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, and/ or pharmaceuticals may all be used to help combat this difficult condition.

Pain Management Testimonials

Learn more about Low Back Pain in the Patient Education section

Learn more about Dr. Villanova’s approaches to Low Back Pain

Learn more about Acupuncture for Low Back Pain


These brief overviews of conditions represent distillations of basic and current medical reviews from the following sources:

[1] Conventional Medical Sources

  • “Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care”. Robert K. Snider and Walter B. Greene. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons & American Academy of Pediatrics. 2nd Edition. (2001)
  • “Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual”. David G. Simons, Janet G. Travell, Lois S. Simons, Barbara D. Cummings. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2 edition (1998)

[2], [3]

  • “Acupuncture Energetics: A Clinical Approach for Physicians”. Joseph M. Helms. Medical Acupuncture Publishers; 1st Edition. (1995)
  • “Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists”. Giovanni Maciocia. Churchill Livingstone; 2 Edition (July, 2005).
  • “Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Guide”. Giovanni Maciocia. Churchill Livingstone; 1st Edition (January, 2004).


Chinese Scalp Acupuncture”. Jason Ji-shun Hao, Linda Ling-zhi Hao and Honora Lee Wolfe. Blue Poppy Press; 1st Edition. (November, 2011)