Chronic Lower Back Painaccording to TCM

Symptom family: Back and Neck Pain

Parent symptom: Lower Back Pain

What is Chronic Lower Back Pain?

Chronic lower back pain is a pervasive ailment that affects a significant portion of the population, characterized by pain that persists in the lower back region for more than three months.

It can vary in intensity and may be accompanied by stiffness and reduced mobility. This condition can greatly impact an individual's daily life, often requiring long-term management and intervention.

How Does TCM View Chronic Lower Back Pain?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chronic lower back pain is often seen as a symptom of imbalances within the body's fundamental systems. TCM identifies various patterns of disharmony that could lead to pain, such as Stagnation of Qi and Blood or invasion of external pathogenic factors like Cold and Dampness.

TCM practitioners prioritize diagnosing the specific underlying pattern, which is key to tailoring an effective treatment strategy.

Causes of Chronic Lower Back Pain According to TCM

TCM recognizes several potential causes for chronic lower back pain, but among the most common are Qi And Blood Stagnation and the invasion of Wind-Damp. Such conditions lead to blockages in the body's meridians, the pathways through which Qi flows, resulting in pain and heaviness.

Another pattern involves Kidney Qi Deficiency, which in TCM is said to govern the strength and health of the lower back. Addressing these imbalances through TCM involves not just relieving pain but also strengthening the body's Qi and dispelling pathogenic influences.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Chronic Lower Back Pain

To alleviate chronic lower back pain, TCM suggests formulas like Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang, which dispels Wind-Dampness and targets the Bladder and Kidney Channels, areas often associated with lower back issues.

The key herb in this formula, Pubescent Angelica Roots (Du Huo), is known for its properties that relieve pain by addressing the root causes of Qi Stagnation and Damp accumulation. Such formulas are integral to TCM's approach to pain management, which seeks to restore balance and strengthen the body's natural defenses.

See more details below about Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang, a herbal formula used to address chronic lower back pain.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that dispel wind-Damp

Acupoints for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Acupuncture is a cornerstone of TCM treatment for chronic lower back pain. Points such as Zhishi BL-52 on the Bladder Channel are emphasized for their ability to tonify the Kidneys and Essence, which are essential for lower back strength.

By targeting these acupoints, TCM practitioners aim to enhance the flow of Qi, strengthen the willpower, and support the underlying organ systems to provide lasting relief from chronic lower back pain.

See more details below about Zhishi BL-52, an acupoint used to address chronic lower back pain.

  • By Meridian
  • Bladder Channel
Zhishi BL-52

Zhishi BL-52

3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 2nd lumber vertebra (L2).

TCM Herbs for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Explore below some TCM herbs used to address chronic lower back pain, organized by herb category.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for yang deficiency
  • Herbs that drain dampness
  • Herbs for external application
  • Tonic herbs for yin deficiency
  • Herbs that dispel wind and dampness

"Tonic herbs for Yang Deficiency" recommended for chronic lower back pain

Herb Formulas they belong to (if applicable)
Curculigo Rhizomes (Xian Mao) Not applicable
Human Placentas (Zi He Che) Not applicable
Milkvetch Seeds (Sha Yuan Zi) Not applicable