14 Handy Acupressure Points For Back Pain You Can Use At Home

Is Acupuncture Safe And Effective For Reducing Back Pain? 

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Yes, according to WebMD, a recent review of 22 acupuncture studies showed that the use of self-administered acupressure points for back pain provided short-term relief from chronic back pain.

Is Acupressure Good For Back Pain?

Yes, a 2009 clinical trial found that using acupuncture on acupressure points for back pain treatment was more effective than typical care alone for helping people with chronic low back pain feel less bothered by their symptoms and function better in their daily activities

Can Acupressure Cause Back Pain?

Soreness after acupressure treatment may occur, but typically subsides within 24 hours or a few days. Additionally, the benefits and relief typically outweigh the soreness.

How To Do Acupressure For Back Pain

First, find a place where you can relax and get in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. Apply gentle, firm pressure to each point using your thumbs and fingers. Breathe naturally and relax. You should stimulate each point for 30 seconds to a minute in small, circular massage motions. If too much pressure causes soreness, use a lighter touch. Acupressure points for back pain can be more sensitive than the areas around them. You can also use tools like the end of a cane or a tennis ball for points that are harder to reach. 

You don’t need to use all the acupressure points for back pain. Some points may produce stronger effects and you may wish to focus on those. When doing so, you should increase the time you apply pressure to those points to 1 to 2 minutes.

Acupressure Points For Upper Back Pain

Acupoint: Bl-43 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-43/Gao Huang Shu/Vital Region Shu)

BL-43 is located on the back, 3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the fourth thoracic vertebra. In addition to being one of the great acupressure points for neck pain as well as pain in the shoulder and back, it is also indicated for pulmonary tuberculosis, cough, asthma, poor appetite, loose stools, emaciation and weakness, spermatorrhea, night sweating, and poor memory. 

It functions by nourishing Lung Yin, tonifying Qi, strengthening the body, and nourishing essence. One thing that makes BL-43 unique is that it tonifies the Qi of the whole body and strengthens weak and deficient people. 

Acupoint: LU-1 (Other Names: Lung-1/Zhong Fu/Middle Palace)

LU-1 is located on the upper lateral chest, 1 cun below LU 2, level in the first intercostal space, and 6 cun from the midline of the chest. It is classified as a Front-Mu point of the Lung Meridian, which is where the Lung and Spleen Meridian intersect. In addition to being one of the helpful acupressure points for cough, it is indicated for shoulder and back pain, as well as cough, asthma, wheezing, chest pain (mainly for Excess conditions), and abdominal distention.

It functions by dispersing heat from the chest and stopping cough, as well as regulating and descending Lung Qi. 

Acupoint: SI-11 (Other Names: Small Intestine-11/Tian Zong/Heavenly Gathering)

SI-11 is located in the region of the scapula, in the depression in the center of the subscapular fossa, level with the 4th thoracic vertebra. In addition to being useful in reflexology for sciatica, it is indicated for pain in the shoulder and arm, asthma, and acute mastitis.

It functions by activating the meridian, alleviating pain, benefitting the breast, freeing the chest, and moving Qi.

Acupoint: LI-4 (Other Names: Large Intestine-4/He Gu/Joining Valley)

He Gu

LI-4 is located on the dorsum of the hand, between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side. It is classified as the Yuan-Source point of the Large Intestine Meridian, as well as the Command Point of the head and face. In addition to treating back pain, it is one of the great acupressure points to quit smoking

It is also indicated for diseases of the head and face, such as external pathogenic headache and body ache, dizziness, congestion, swelling and pain of the eye, nasosinusitis, epistaxis (nosebleed), toothache in the lower jaw, trismus (lockjaw), deafness, mumps, swelling of the face, facial paralysis, facial tic, swelling of the pharnyx and aphonia (inability to speak). It also helps with an aversion to cold, fever, febrile disease, anhidrosis (no sweating), hidrosis, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, dystocia (difficult or abnormal labor/childbirth), gastric pain, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, hemiplegia, finger spasm, pain in the arm, infantile convulsion, manic psychosis and irritability, malignant sore, urticaria, scabies, and every type pf pain and psychogenic tense. It can be used in conjunction with LIV 3 to strongly move the qi and blood in the body in order to remove stagnation and alleviate pain.

It functions by expelling wind and releasing the exterior, tonifying qi, strengthening immunity, stopping pain, regulating the face and head area, and inducing labor. LI-4 is known as the pain relief point for the whole body and can be used wherever there is pain.

Acupoint: SI-3 (Other Names: Small Intestine-3/Hou Xi/Back Stream)

With a loose first, SI-3 is located on the ulnar aspect of the hand, proximal to the 5th metacarpophalangeal joint, at the end of the transverse crease of the metacarpophalangeal joint, at the junction of the red and white skin. It is classified as the Shu-Stream point of the Small Intestine Meridian, which is where the qi starts to pour down the meridian,

and the Master Point of the Du Meridian, when coupled with UB-62. These two points together alleviate heaviness and pain in the joints. 

The SI-3 acupuncture point is indicated for pain and rigidity of the head and neck, malaria, pain in the lumbar and sacrum, acute spasm in the finger, elbow and arm, as well as manic psychosis, epilepsy, deafness, and eye congestion.

It functions by benefitting the neck and back, activating the meridian, expelling exterior Wind, regulating the Du meridian, calming the Shen, and treating malaria. 

Acupoint: LI-10 (Other Names: Large Intestine-10/Shou San Li/Arm Three Miles)

When the elbow is flexed, LI-10 is located on the dorsal radial side of the forearm, on the line connecting LI-5 and LI-11, and 2 cun below the transverse cubital crease. In addition to being useful in acupuncture and tennis elbow, it is indicated for abdominal pain, diarrhea, paralysis of the upper extremities, and pain. 

It functions by regulating Qi and blood, tonifying Qi, activating the meridian, and stopping pain.

Acupoint: GB-21 (Other Names: Gallbladder-21/Jian Jing/Shoulder Well)

GB-21 is located at the back of the shoulder, about halfway between the center line and your shoulder tip.  Practitioners normally used this acupoint to improve blood circulation. Along with the GV-16 acupuncture point, it is one of the great acupressure points to ease back pain and neck pain. 

It is also indicated for mastitis, insufficient lactation, dizziness, headache, rigidity, and pain of the neck, limitation of the upper extremities, difficult labor, and scrofula. It functions by activating the meridian, descending Qi, promoting labor, benefitting the breasts, and resolving Phlegm.

Acupoint: GB-20 (Other Names: Gallbladder-20/Feng Chi/Wind Pool)

GB-20 is located on the nape of the neck, below the occiput, at the level of DU-16, in the depression between the upper portion of the sternocleidomastoideus and trapezius muscles. It is classified as the crossing point of the Gall Bladder Meridian and the Yang Wei Vessel. It is an important point to treat any Wind-Cold or Wind-Heat pattern. In addition to being one of the top 10 acupressure points to relieve body pains & aches, it is indicated for the common cold, nasal congestion, headache, redness, swelling, and pain of the eye, rhinorrhea, epistaxis, rigidity, and pain of the neck, limitation of the shoulder, dizziness, vertigo, hemiplegia, and epilepsy.

It functions by dispelling exterior and interior Wind, clearing the head, benefitting the eyes, nose and ears, subduing Liver Yang, activating the meridian, and relieving pain.

Acupoint: GB-6 (Other Names: Gallbladder-6/Xuan Li/Suspended Hair)

GB-6 is located within the hairline of the temporal region, at the mid point of the arc connecting ST-8 and GB-7. It is classified as the crossing point of the Gall Bladder, the Stomach, and San Jiao Meridians. It is indicated for migraine, redness, swelling, and pain of the eye, and tinnitus. It functions by dispelling Wind, clearing Heat, and relieving pain.

Acupoint: GB-10 (Other Names: Gallbladder-10/Fu Bai/Floating White)

GB-10 is located on the head, posterior to the auricle, posterior and superior to the mastoid process, at the junction of the middle 1/3 and upper 1/3 of the arc connecting GB-9 and GB-12. Alternatively, you can also find the acupoint about 1 cun behind the tip of your ear. It is classified as the crossing point of the Gall Bladder and Urinary Bladder Meridians. It is indicated for headache, deafness, tinnitus, eye pain, and goiter. It functions by clearing Heat, activating the meridian, and relieving pain.

Acupressure Points For Lower Back Pain

Acupoint: GV-26 (Other Names: The Governing Vessel-26/Ren Zhong/Middle of the Person)

GV-26 can be used to “awaken” the brain and provide temporary back pain relief.  It is located on the face, at the junction of the superior 1/3 and middle 1/3 of the philtrum. It is classified as the crossing point on the DU (GV) Vessel with the Large Intestine and Stomach Meridians. When combined with the PC-7 acupuncture point, it is useful in treating bad breath. 

It is indicated for syncope, heatstroke, coma, mental disorders, trismus. manic psychosis, epilepsy, acute lumbar pain, gastric pain, wry mouth, and swelling of the face.

Acupoint: Bl-40 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-40/Wei Zhong/Middle of the Crook)

BL-40 is located at the midpoint of the transverse crease of the popliteal fossa, between the tendons and the biceps femoris and semitendinosus muscles. It is classified as the He-Sea point of the Urinary Bladder Meridian and the Command Point of the low back. In addition to being one of the best acupressure points for sciatica, it is indicated for lumbar pain, spasm and weakness of the lower extremities,erysipelas, rash, general pruritus, furuncle, carbuncle on the back, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, enuresis, and dysuria.

It functions by clearing heat, resolving dampness, benefitting the lumbar area and knees, cooling the blood, clearing Summer-Heat, activating the meridian, and relieving pain. It is one of the greatest acupressure points for lower back pain relief, as well as one of the acupressure points for blood circulation in the legs.

Acupoint: Bl-25 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-25/Da Chang/Large Intestine Transporter)

 BL-25 is located on the back, 1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 4th lumbar vertebra. It is classified as the Back-Shu point of the Large Intestine. In addition to being one of the main acupressure points for constipation and one of the greatest acupressure points for lower back pain, it is also indicated for abdominal distention, diarrhea, constipation, bleeding hemorrhoids, lumbar pain, and urticaria.

It functions by regulating the large intestines, strengthening the low back, and removing obstructions from the meridian.

Acupoint: Bl-52 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-52/Zhi Shi/Willpower Room)

BL-52 is located on the same level of your belly button, 3.0 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 2nd lumbar vertebra. It is indicated for spermatorrhea, impotence, dysuria, edema, and lumbar stiffness and pain, making it another one of the great acupressure points for lower back pain. It functions by tonifying the kidneys, benefitting  urination, and strengthening the low back.

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