Back pain is so much more than uncomfortable, and in chronic cases, it can reduce your quality of life. Sometimes it comes on suddenly, resulting from an accident or poor posture. Other times, it is something that develops as we age. The back holds a lot of pressure every day, and regardless of age and health, we are all prone to experiencing back pain at some point in our lives. This unifying experience is why everyone should know about acupressure points for back pain in the hands.
Back pain can be a difficult affliction to treat. This area of the body is packed with nervous system tissue, which makes surgeries and minor adjustments riskier than they would be on other parts of the body. Massaging your own back is nearly impossible without help, and even then, such a response could be painful or exacerbate existing issues. It is also undesirable to have to continuously take medication to deal with chronic forms of back pain, as many modern medications come with at least one side effect.
Fortunately, acupuncture offers a simple self-administered treatment option with little to no risks. I started using hand acupuncture points for back pain, and I was surprised to feel quick relief from my chronic pain. Even on days when I spend many hours sitting, these points have offered me great relief in a discrete way.
I am excited to share my favorite hand pressure points for back pain, so you can find the relief you deserve!
Are Hand Acupuncture Points For Back Pain Effective?
Acupuncture points have been proven as an effective measure against pain in many areas of the body, and the back is no exception. Multiple clinical trials have assessed acupuncture as a natural and non-invasive remedy for back pain, and they have ended in very promising results. In one study, acupuncture for back pain proved superior to massages and physical therapy that were designed to decrease lower back discomfort.
While it may seem odd that pressure points on your hands can activate pain relief in your back, it is absolutely true. Hand acupressure points for back pain are located on channels that improve vital energy in relation to the back. When these points are stimulated, they improve energy and blood circulation, allowing for the relaxation of painful muscle tension and calming other triggers of chronic pain in the back. This is considered to be a safe and effective immediate treatment for upper and lower back pain that can be paired with other treatments for enhanced relief.
Acupuncture energy channels are not always located by the body part that they affect, and in the case of back pain, that is a very convenient design.
Where Are Acupressure Points For Back Pain Located?
While some acupressure points for back pain are located on or close to the spine, these points are very difficult to activate personally. Hand pressure points for back pain allow for self-treatment that does not require any bending or contorting to reach your own back, which can be especially uncomfortable with chronic pain.
Below are my five favorite acupressure points in the hands for back pain. They are easy to access, are effective, and come with little to no risk of side effects, so try them out and find the back pain relief you have been looking for!
Acupoint: LI-4 (Other Names: Large Intestine-4/He Gu/Joining Valley)
This point on the large intestine channel has a way of relieving pain in unexpected places. Most commonly, this point is noted for its ability to relieve pain in the upper back, which earns it a place on most hand acupressure points charts. This point is able to improve the flow of energy throughout the body allowing for a release of stagnant and uncomfortable energies. It also improves intestinal function, which can lead to various forms of back pain if it is not treated.
To locate this point, touch your pointer finger to your thumb. As you do so, you should notice a firm area of muscle at the base of the two fingers. Press down firmly and massage this point with the thumb of your opposite hand. It takes some time to feel relief, but if no relief is ever felt, it is recommended that you see a doctor as these pains could be the result of more severe intestinal problems.
Acupoint: PC-6 (Other Names: Pericardium-6/Nei Guan/Inner Pass)
This point is part of the pericardium channel, and it might not be on the hand, but it is definitely close. PC-6 is commonly included in lists of acupressure points for fibromyalgia, and its calming properties allow for a release in muscle tension that commonly leads to upper back pain.
Locating this point is fairly easy. Hold up three fingers and lay them across your wrist, starting at the crease. The width of these fingers should bring you to the PC-6 point, which is in the middle of your arm between the two central tendons. Apply firm and careful pressure here for a few seconds at a time.
Acupoint: TE-3 (Other Names: Triple Energizer-3/Zhong Zhu/Central Islet)
TE-3 is located along the triple energizer channel, making it a powerful point for moving vital energy. This acupressure point for hearing loss is also effective at relieving the tension that generates upper back pain.
Much like LI-4, the TE-3 point is located at the base of two fingers. However, this time it is between the pinky and ring finger. This point exists on the back of the hand, slightly past the knuckles and between the metacarpal bones for the pinky and ring finger. Apply precise yet dull pressure to this point with caution since there are many bones and tendons in this area.
Acupoint: TE-5 (Other Names: Triple Energizer-5/Wai Guan/Outer Pass)
TE-5 is another point on the triple energizer channel, and its connection to the upper back and head makes it a good acupressure point for earaches. Its ability to relieve tension and pain from poor upper body energy flow also makes it perfect for upper back pain and shoulder pain relief.
This point is actually a mirror of the PC-6 point, but it is located on the outer part of the arm rather than the inside. Simply use three fingers width to measure from the back of the hand’s wrist crease down the arm. The point will be located centrally on the arm, between the ulna and radius.
Acupoint: EM-34 (Other Names: Yao Tong Xue)
Unlike the first four hand pressure points for back pain, which focus on relieving pain in the upper back, this point focuses on lower back pain. In fact, lower back pain relief is the primary purpose of this point, and it is used for little else.
Surprisingly, this actually consists of two points that are present on each hand. The first point is located between the metacarpal bones on the back of the hand between the pointer finger and middle finger. The second point is also between the metacarpal bones on the back of the hands, but this time it is between the middle finger and ring finger. Both of these points are identifiable as a dent that you can feel with your fingers, and they should be activated with five to ten firm presses from a dull object, like a thumb.