Table of Contents
Low back pain is extremely common with almost 8 out of every 10 people suffering from this ailment at some point during their lives.
Whilst most of the time causes of back pain aren’t serious, it can still impact a person’s quality of life if left untreated.
There are several treatment options to help alleviate pain and discomfort, one of them is by using acupressure techniques.
This alternative medicine can help to treat chronic low back pain by lessening muscle tension to back muscles.
What is Acupressure & How Does It Work?
Acupressure is a form of pressure point massage therapy.
A traditional Chinese medicine, it involves using your fingers to apply firm pressure to acupuncture points on the body to treat a variety of different conditions.
It’s very similar to acupuncture but without the use of needles and this practice is usually carried out by a certified massage therapist.
Acupressure treatments are carried out by using the index finger and thumb to apply gentle pressure to specific points by either tapping, using circular motions or simply by pressing and holding.
These trigger points are located along the meridian system of the human body.
Meridians are considered energy pathways that run throughout the body connecting all of the organs. It’s along these pathways where key pressure points are located.
Acupressure Points for Lower Back Pain
Whether you suffer from acute or chronic pain to the lower back muscles, by applying acupressure to specific points on the body can help to reduce symptoms.
Urinary Bladder 60 (UB 60)
- Applying pressure to this point will help with low back pain and also lower leg pain.
- Place your index finger on the tip of you outer ankle bone.
- Move your finger back towards the Achilles tendon and it should fall into a gap.
- Now apply pressure to this point for a duration of between 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Urinary Bladder 40 (UB 40)
This point is located towards the back of the leg and will help with muscle spasms to the low back muscles, hip pain and also sciatica.
- Position your finger to the back of the knee directly in the crease of the leg.
- It’s easier to find the correct spot with your knee slightly flexed.
- Make sure your finger is in the center and directly behind the knee cap.
- Press firmly to this area holding for at least 30 seconds.
Large Intestine 4 (LI4)
The location of LI4 is on the back of the hand on the web of the thumb and will provide lower back pain relief. If pain is located to one side of the body, then apply pressure to the point on the opposite hand.
- Take the thumb of your right hand and position the thumb joint against the webbing of the opposite hand (between the thumb and forefinger).
- Now flatten the thumb down, the tip of your thumb should now be pressing on the LI4 point.
- Press and hold for at least 30 to 60 seconds.
Gall Bladder 34 (GB 34)
GB 34 is located just on the outside of the knee and can help improve musculoskeletal pain conditions such as sciatica.
- Start by sitting in a chair and take your hand and feel for a bony lump slightly down and outside of the knee cap.
- Move your finger diagonally downwards until it’s between this bone and your shin bone.
- The most tender part is the correct point to apply pressure.
- Apply pressure to this area for at least 2 to 3 minutes for best results.
An acupressure session can offer many benefits, especially when undertaken on a regular basis. Whilst not scientifically backed, anecdotal evidence has been very positive with the following benefits being noted.
- Better quality sleep
- Lower levels of stress and anxiety
- Helps relax tense muscles
- Increases blood flow and blood circulation
- Helps with acute and chronic back pain
- Reduces pain associated with headaches and migraines
Acupressure Side Effects
Acupressure side effects can vary from person to person, and it’s usually advised that pregnant women and those with hypertension should avoid both acupressure and acupuncture treatments.
Below are some of the most common side effects reported.
- Bruising or tenderness to the area where pressure was applied.
- Dizziness or light headedness
Before considering the use of acupressure be sure to undertake plenty of research and speak with qualified acupressure practitioners to seek their advice so you can explain to them any conditions you would like to address.
If you’re thinking about a form of home treatment, it’s best to learn about the locations of acupressure points so you can perform it correctly. You could also consider investing in an acupressure mat.
Whilst the mats don’t offer the same benefits in terms of pain relief to specific areas of the body they can help to improve sleep and also improve blood flow to the back muscles.