July 14, 2024
Home » Electroacupuncture: A Natural Solution to Reduce Gut Inflammation

Can individuals dealing with gut inflammation be relieved with electroacupuncture to reduce low back pain symptoms & improve gut function?


When it comes to the body, the gut system has a very interesting relationship to the various body groups. The gut system works with the central nervous, immune, and musculoskeletal systems as it helps protect the body from harmful bacteria while regulating inflammation. However, when environmental factors start to affect the body and cause the gut system to go haywire, it can cause numerous issues of pain and discomfort to the body. One of the issues that the gut can affect is the musculoskeletal system, causing back pain issues associated with gut inflammation. However, numerous treatments can help reduce the effects of gut inflammation that is causing back pain. Today’s article looks at the gut-back pain connection, how electroacupuncture can be integrated as a treatment, and how it can reduce inflammation. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to assess how gut inflammation impacts their bodies, causing back pain. We also inform and guide patients on how electroacupuncture therapy can help reduce the inflammatory effects causing gut and back issues and restore gut function. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about incorporating various non-surgical treatments to reduce gut inflammation correlated with back pain. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.


The Gut-Back Pain Connection

Do you feel muscle aches or pains in your gut or lower back? What about radiating heat in various areas of your body? Or have you experienced any low-energy moments throughout your day? While the gut is known as the second brain since it works with the immune system, one of its crucial roles is regulating the body’s immune system. This is because the gut microbiome houses trillions of bacteria to digest food and protect the body from bad bacteria. When environmental factors start to affect the gut’s delicate ecosystem, it can lead the immune system to be hyperactive, causing the inflammatory cytokines to mass produce, and this effect can ripple throughout the body, thus manifesting into various pain-like symptoms and conditions, including back pain. Since inflammation is the body’s defense response to injuries or infections, it removes the harmful issue in the affected area and helps heal. So when the inflammatory cytokines start to mass produce due to gut inflammation, it can compromise the gut system, allowing toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel to different body areas, causing pain. Now, this is due to various environmental factors that lead to back pain development. When the harmful bacteria from inflammation start to cause back pain, they can attach themselves and affect the intervertebral disc homeostasis, causing the immune system to attack the intervertebral disc and cause back pain. (Yao et al., 2023) This is due to the connection of the gut and back through complex nerve pathways that send information from the gut to the back and up to the brain.



So, when inflammation starts to cause issues in the body, it can lead to musculoskeletal problems like back pain. Gut inflammation can cause an imbalance between the composition of the symbiont and pathobiont to decrease the integrity and function of the intestinal gut barriers, induce pain, and increase the inflammatory molecules. (Ratna et al., 2023) The inflammatory molecules can exacerbate pain receptors and muscle tension, leading to discomfort and pain in the lower back. Coincidentally, environmental factors like poor posture, physical inactivity, and poor dietary habits can cause the gut system to induce inflammation of the back muscles. When there is dysbiosis in the gut microbiota, the inflammatory effects can be indirectly associated with visceral pain and central nervous systemic functioning to alter the body and cause it to be in a persistent state of chronic systemic inflammation to induce back pain. (Dekker Nitert et al., 2020). However, there are numerous non-surgical treatments and holistic approaches to reduce gut inflammation and relieve back pain.


Integrating Electroacupuncture As Treatment

When people are experiencing back pain associated with gut inflammation, they will go to their primary healthcare doctor and explain the situation. Given the connection between gut inflammation and back pain, by addressing the environmental factors that cause these overlapping risk profiles, many doctors can work with pain specialists to reduce both gut inflammation and back pain. Pain specialists like chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists can help strengthen the affected muscles that are causing back pain and provide holistic approaches like anti-inflammatory vitamins and supplements to reduce gut inflammation. One of the oldest non-surgical treatments that can do both is electroacupuncture. Electroacupuncture combines traditional Chinese therapy and modern technology that uses electric stimulation and thin solid needles to be inserted into the body’s acupoint to obtain qi or energy. What this does is that it provides electric stimulation and anti-inflammatory effects to induce cholinergic reflexes in the gut and HPA axis. (Yang et al., 2024) Electroacupuncture can also be combined with other therapies to reduce the inflammatory effects associated with back pain.


How Does Electroacupuncture Reduce Gut Inflammation

Since electroacupuncture can reduce gut inflammation causing back pain, it can help regulate the intestinal flora by promoting intestinal motility and blocking the pain signals from affecting the back muscles. (An et al., 2022) This is because electroacupuncture can help relax the tense muscles causing back pain. Additionally, when people approach this treatment, it is under the guidance of highly trained acupuncturists who can insert the needles correctly while tailoring electroacupuncture therapy to the person’s specific needs and pain. Since electroacupuncture can be combined with other therapies, it can effectively reduce body weight and restore digestion and absorption to shape the gut microbiota. (Xia et al., 2022) This allows individuals to make small changes to their routine and prevent gut inflammation from affecting the body and causing back pain. They can improve their quality of life by incorporating electroacupuncture as part of their health and wellness treatment. 


Unlocking The Secrets Of Inflammation-Video


An, J., Wang, L., Song, S., Tian, L., Liu, Q., Mei, M., Li, W., & Liu, S. (2022). Electroacupuncture reduces blood glucose by regulating intestinal flora in type 2 diabetic mice. J Diabetes, 14(10), 695-710. doi.org/10.1111/1753-0407.13323

Dekker Nitert, M., Mousa, A., Barrett, H. L., Naderpoor, N., & de Courten, B. (2020). Altered Gut Microbiota Composition Is Associated With Back Pain in Overweight and Obese Individuals. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne), 11, 605. doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.00605

Ratna, H. V. K., Jeyaraman, M., Yadav, S., Jeyaraman, N., & Nallakumarasamy, A. (2023). Is Dysbiotic Gut the Cause of Low Back Pain? Cureus, 15(7), e42496. doi.org/10.7759/cureus.42496

Xia, X., Xie, Y., Gong, Y., Zhan, M., He, Y., Liang, X., Jin, Y., Yang, Y., & Ding, W. (2022). Electroacupuncture promoted intestinal defensins and rescued the dysbiotic cecal microbiota of high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Life Sci, 309, 120961. doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120961

Yang, Y., Pang, F., Zhou, M., Guo, X., Yang, Y., Qiu, W., Liao, C., Chen, Y., & Tang, C. (2024). Electroacupuncture Reduces Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Obese Mice by Activating the Nrf2/HO-1 Signaling Pathways and Repairing the Intestinal Barrier. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes, 17, 435-452. doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S449112

Yao, B., Cai, Y., Wang, W., Deng, J., Zhao, L., Han, Z., & Wan, L. (2023). The Effect of Gut Microbiota on the Progression of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. Orthopaedic Surgery, 15(3), 858-867. doi.org/10.1111/os.13626


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The information herein on "Electroacupuncture: A Natural Solution to Reduce Gut Inflammation" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

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