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Lower Back Sprain
Earlier a middle-aged patient who sprained his lower back came to visit. The sprain was quite serious but came about almost suddenly. It happened after doing some yard work. While for most patients, sprains involve back pain, for this patient however the pain was not as pronounced as the powerlessness of the lower back. He describes it as a feeling as if the lower part of the body was "detached" from the upper part.
One could imagine the upper and lower body felt separated. "It's like the power would not travel down to the back", he said. I performed Acupuncture and used strong stimulation for 3 days in a row. The powerlessness improved afterwards, but then the patient started to complain of pain which was still causing difficulty in bending. So it seemed the condition was gradually changing.
In TCM this is called "qi blood stagnation". I performed Acupuncture one last time, and prescribed herbal medicine to "move" and circulate the stagnation. 3 days later the pain had mostly dissipated. The patient could resume his work again.
Because back sprains happen often, people tend to pay little attention to it, thinking it's not a big deal and would "go away" by itself. Yes it does away by itself, for some people. When injuries are not treated in time and left to "go away" on their own, there exists always a possibility that it does not completely heal. This predisposes the person to future injury.
For this patient, the area of injury was focused on the right side. Around the area where the kidney should be below the last rib on the back, I felt a ball-like nodulation deep in the muscle layer. This was also where the pain was approximately located in.
The patient told me this was not the first time he's sprained his back. Almost every time it happens, it happens on the right side. From that I could tell he had multiple previous injuries that did not completely go away before another one happened later on. Eventually it became this nodulation. The acute sprain is easy to treat, but this nodulation represents years of injury, and would take much longer.