female has backache

Disabling Pain at Twenty-three

Sarah was on disability by the time she was in her early twenties. She had severe and relentless back pain and hip pain that radiated down her entire left leg to her foot. She had been to several specialist and they could not find the cause of her pain. In fact, some of the doctors did not believe her when she explained she could barely walk and do normal activities like grocery shopping or driving. She had been to so many doctors and her severe pain was not treated successfully. This resulted in her being on disability and semi-homebound for the last three years. The pain was severe and daily at a level of 8 to 9 out of 10. She was put on narcotics which only slightly numbed the pain but did not get rid of it. The intensity of the pain was so great that at times it took her breath away. She was at this point resigned to the fact that her life would be like this forever. She came for a visit from the advice of a friend but did not believe that she could be helped.

Sarah like most young adults was out having fun with her friends on one fateful Friday night. Unfortunately, it was that night she was horsing around with friends when she fell off the bed of a pick-up truck and landed with great force on her hip and leg. The pain started at that time. Diagnostic tests, including MRIs, X-Rays, extensive blood work and a CT scan were done but all the results were normal. No one could determine the exact physiological reason she had pain but knew it began with the injury (fall). Yet, after that initial injury the pain seemed to worsen with time over the last three years.

 How acupuncture got rid of her pain

Her image studies were normal. This meant no structural abnormalities were the cause of her pain. Her blood work was normal so there was no other disease process causing her symptoms yet she was still in pain. Looking at her case from a purely Western viewpoint it appeared there was no cause for her pain or perhaps the source was psychological as some doctors insisted. However, looking at her case from a Chinese medicine and acupuncture perspective it made complete and total sense. The pain she was experiencing followed the exact pattern of a meridian that ran along the side of her body. The meridian traced the exact location and pattern of her pain from her hip, down her leg and to her foot. In Chinese medicine, meridians flow into other meridians and balance the Qi (life force energy). The Qi should flow easily and smoothly much like a robust stream flowing down a mountain side. When an injury occurs it disrupts the Qi and can cause a blockage. This blockage creates stagnant Qi or congestion and causes pain. I was hopeful acupuncture would help her and she agreed to give it a try.

 Sarah’s success story

After the first acupuncture treatment with Dr. Lane, Sarah had a dramatic reduction in her pain for the first time in three years. Her pain level reduced 50% which was a big deal to her. She returned the next week for her 2nd treatment. Her pain from the first treatment had remained 50% reduced so we repeated the treatment. After the 2nd acupuncture treatment her pain was down by 70%. After the 3rd visit it was 90% better. After the 4th treatment her pain was gone. One month later her pain was still gone. After two months of pain-free living she came for a follow-up. She asked “Will the pain return and what do I do now?” I told her the blockage of Qi that was causing the pain was no longer there. The Qi was flowing easily now and it was unlikely to come back unless she re-injured herself. I told her now it was time to live a pain-free life. I told her to return for another treatment if the pain came back. She never returned.

*All Names of these true life cases have been changed to maintain confidentiality