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Normal to feel worse before feeling better?


#1

I am currently on my 6th week of Physical Therapy (2x a week) and 2nd week of Acupuncture (1x a week) for my lower back pain/sciatica symptoms due to a bulging disc @ L5/S1 (MRI done 2 months ago).

Am I supposed to feel worse before I feel better after the 2nd session of Acupuncture?

The first session the Acupuncturist started w/ Electro-Acupuncture, Tui Na Massage, and then Cupping. I felt a bit better after that. The second session there was no Cupping and just Electro Acupuncture and Tui Na massage. The massage was a bit more intense as he used his foot on my back.

Today I feel my back pain and sciatica symptoms has elevated. Is this normal?

Also, am I doing too much for my treatment at once? (PT, eletro-accupunture, tuina, daily stretching)


#2

You may easily be doing too much but that would be hard to say without knowing all the specifics. Most of the time, in very general terms, until the structural tension is released stretching it runs the risk of creating more problems. While it loosens surface tension it can further irritate the nerves. But your practitioner should be able to guide you through this. I would simply give the acupuncture 3-5 treatments before you really judge what is happening. Lots of things, including treatment potentially, can make your back hurt worse from day to day depending on the severity of the underlying causes.

In general, some irritation within the first couple treatments is not unlikely with acupuncture. Common, no, but it does happen and it usually doesn&#39t mean much. You are after all creating structural and tissue changes to help alleviate the causes of the back problems, these do not come with potential short-term risks.


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