L, 35y, from Stockport, has suffered from lower back pain for more than a year. He has had pain mainly on middle and the right side, spreading to right buttock and sometimes the back of the right thigh. Since the pain has been severe (7/8 out of 10), he has great restriction with his movement. He can’t bend to pick things from the floor, he has to kneel down.

MRI shows mild degenerative change. Disc extrusion L4-5, minimal left L5 nerve root displacement. Disc protrusion L5-S1, no significant nerve root compromise. However, it is noted that the right side is symptomatic.

After one session of acupuncture, he said he was more 60% better, he could manage with work, and even her girlfriend joked “I haven’t heard of you moaning this week”.

Something interesting happened during the session. I used points on his left side, and he was so puzzled, “You do remember that the right side is the bad side, do you?” Of course, I do. Chinese medicine is philosophical in some way. It is not necessary to use the same side, sometimes using the opposite side has unexpected result.

What’s more, I didn’t use the lower back area either. Same reason. Using distant points and leaving the injured area alone could be the better choice.

Wrong side, right side
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