Back pain affects up to 90% of us at some stage of our life, with nearly 4 million Australians suffering from this every year. There are many various causes of this and we recommend that this get checked out by your medical doctor. This must be assessed thoroughly, and investigations may be required. As Dr Justin Lim and Dr Selina Lim have worked in the Emergency Departments in major Australian and European Hospitals they understand the importance of ensuring that this is not caused by a major critical condition such as a Myocardial infarction (MI) or an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and then referring for imaging if appropriate to find the cause of the back pain.
Professor Yoland Lim Health Care’s Fong Yang Therapy Back Pain program is a natural form of treatment aimed at getting you back to more functioning of activities of daily living. We have worked closely with medical specialists such as neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and anaesthetic pain specialists to reduce the requirement of potentially addictive prescription only opioid medication, which may also have possible severe side effects for some patients.
Harvard Medical School stated in a 2012 medical study involving approximately 18,000 patients over 23 high-quality randomized controlled trials showed that acupuncture is beneficial low back pain, in addition to headache and osteoarthritis . Studies published in American Family Physician stated acupuncture was of benefit for chronic low back pain in certain situations.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners have education activities for doctors which include "Non-pharmacological therapies in back pain" which is education "to provide an update for GP’s on risk factors for low back pain, screening tools, and evidence for non pharmacological therapies including exercise, manual therapy, and acupuncture in the management of low back pain".
Additionally, the safety profile of acupuncture is excellent, and as Professor Yoland Lim's catch phrase states- "Without drugs, without side effects". Other potential benefits may include lowering blood pressure along with relaxation. Acupuncture has emerged as an important non-drug option that can help chronic pain patients avoid the use of potentially harmful medications, especially opiates with their potentially serious risk of substance use disorder.
 Chronic low back pain: evaluation and management. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jun 15;79(12):1067-74.Last AR1, Hulbert K.Medical College of Wisconsin, Racine, WI 53403, USA. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Last%20AR,%20Hulbert%20K.%20Chronic%20low%20back%20pain:%20evaluation%20and%20management.%20Am%20Fam%20Physician%202009;79:1067%E2%80%9374.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis or De Quervain’s syndrome is characterised by the inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. Tendons are connective tissue found throughout the body connecting muscle to bone.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis occurs throughout working age predominately affecting individuals at the age of 40 – 60 year olds2. Plausible theories as to the onset of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis include:
1. Acute injuries
2. Inflammatory diseases
3. Forceful repetitions of the wrist and
4. Thumb and anatomical variations.
Treatment of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis varies depending on the severity of the condition. For milder cases, more conservative approaches are utilised with the aim of management. These include occupational therapy, hand therapy including a splint, corticosteroid injections and intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There may be potential side effects with these which is important to discuss with your medical practitioner. For cases that are resistant to more severe and have shown no improvement, we may refer you for surgical review where surgery may be considered.
 Better Health Channel (2019, April) Tendonitis. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/tendonitis
 Allbrook, V (2019, November) The side of my wrist hurts’ – De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Australian Journal of General Practice Vol 48 (11) 753 – 756.
Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterized by:
1. Stiffness and
in your shoulder joint. It may take two to nine months to develop. Although the pain may slowly improve, stiffness continues, and range of motion remains limited.
What Causes Frozen Shoulder?
The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when the normal capsule (of bones, ligament and tendons of the shoulder) thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement,.
The exact cause is unknown, but patients with diabetes or those who have had a period of immobility for a long period, such as after surgery or an arm fracture. Risk factorsare:
We may arrange for imaging or other tests to further investigate.
Frozen shoulder may be treated with various specific exercises. Professor Yoland Lim Health Care may advise on Fong Yang exercises to enhance management. According to The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), acupuncture is an effective treatment for treating chronic pain, like that of shoulder pain.
The hip is one of the few ball and socket joints in the body allowing for a wide range of motion. Because of the versatility in movement, the hip is susceptible to pain and injury particularly as a consequence of over exercise/training. Locating where the pain is is crucial in hip injury diagnosis. For example, if there is pain in the hip or groin, it is most likely due to a direct injury to the hip. Whereas, if there is pain on the outer buttock, outer thigh, or outside the hip, it is likely due to problems associated with the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the hip.
Although hip pain can affect everyone, it has been shown that in the ageing population, hip pain is generally associated with age-related conditions such as arthritis, bursitis and greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS).
Despite hip pain arising from various causes, there are effective strategies for the management of hip pain. These include:
 Health Direct (2018, January) Hip pain healthdirect.gov.au/hip-pain
 Miller and Russel (2019, October) Hip pain and injury physioworks.com.au/Injuries-Conditions/Regions/hip-pain-joint-injury
 Arthritis Australia. Hips arthritisaustralia.com.au/what-is-arthritis/areas-of-the-body/hips/
 Versus Arthritis. Hip pain versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/hip-pain/
Knee pain is a common problem in people of all ages and can occur suddenly or over a period of time.
The knee is a large joint comprised of four main structures: bones, ligaments, cartilage and tendons - each being susceptible to injury.
Common knee problems as a result of aging and continual wear and stress on the knee joint include:
Although knee pain can affect all, it is more prevalent in individuals who are overweight, have history of arthritis or those who engage in certain sports such as basketball and skiing. Along with pain, other symptoms may include:
In many cases, knee pain can be treated conservatively. These strategies include putting as little weight as possible on the knee, using an ice pack and ensuring adequate analgesic management. However, if the pain is persistent, seeking medical attention may be required. In these cases, treatment options can include aspiration (releasing pressure by removing some of the fluid in the knee joint), physiotherapy to reduce pain and in more severe cases arthroscopic surgery and open surgery.
 Health Direct (2019, January) Knee pain healthdirect.gov.au/knee-pain
 Versus Arthritis. How is the knee structured? versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/knee-pain/
 John Hopkins Medicine. Knee Pain and Problems hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/knee-pain-and-problems
 MedlinePlus (2020, Februayr) Knee pain medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003187.htm
 Better Health Channel (2012, July) Knee injuries betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/knee-injuries
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) and Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow) do not only affect professional athletes. In fact, most of the cases of these actually happen in non-elite athletes.
A range of factors may contribute especially repetitive or awkward motion of the arm, elbow or forearm, excessive keyboard and mouse use with a non-ergonomic, uncomfortable setup.
Lateral Epicondylitis is the inflammation of the lateral epicondyle (outside of the elbow) which cases pain and tenderness, especially on twisting door knobs or holding the steering wheel. Medial Epicondylitis can cause discomfort on the inside of the elbow in pulling and flexing of the elbow.
As Dr Justin Lim has worked in the Emergency Departments in major Australian and European Hospitals he understands the importance of ensuring and confirming the diagnosis and instituting the optimal treatment program for you.
Professor Yoland Lim Health Care’s program is a natural form of treatment aimed at getting you back to being able to participate in everyday activities. Patients referred by Sports Physicians and Orthopaedic doctors may have had cortisone injections with limited benefit.Fong Yang Therapy, Professor Yoland Lim Health Care's form of acupuncture is used, "without drugs, without side effects".
Muscle cramps is a condition which can affect most of us at some stage of our lives. The cause of cramps is not always very clear as it is largely associated with the patient’s physical as well as emotional condition.
Cramps related to sport are common occurrences during and after physical exercise in both non-athletes and professional athletes. This is where there is uncontrollable spasms and pain in single or numerous multijoint muscles. The exact cause of cramps secondary to sport and exercise are unknown. However, there are plausible theories to suggest the causation of cramps to be attributed to:
In some cases, a medical condition is known to cause this condition such as pregnancy, kidney failure or low thyroid gland function.
Muscle cramps can affect people of all ages in different areas of the body. However it is most commonly seen in middle-aged and the elderly during rest, post exercise or at night during sleep. The symptoms are usually painful and uncontrollable spasms of muscles. Commonly affected areas include abdominal wall, lower leg, thighs and arms. Some people experience difficulty walking due to intense pain.
As the duration and onset of muscle cramps varies in individuals, conventional western treatment can consist of a variety of components such as gentle massages and stretches, application of an icepack or medications to control the spasms. Effective prevention strategies to minimise the onset of cramps include frequent exercise, hydration before and after exercise, incorporation of stretching and nutritionally adequate diet.
According to data provided by The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), acupuncture can be an effective treatment for patients with cramps by improving muscle metabolism through the release of energy.
Although they are generally harmless, it is important to note that regular occurrences of cramps that last longer than a few minutes should be consulted by a medical doctor as they could be a symptom of an underlying medical disorder such as atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) or spinal nerve compression.
 Miller et al (2010, July) Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention. SAGE Journals Vol 2 (4) 279-283. doi: 10.1177/1941738109357299
 Better Health Channel (2013, September). Muscle cramp. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/muscle-cramp
Neck pain affects approximately 80% of the population at some stage of lives. The pain typically spreads from the neck towards the shoulders or upper back often causing headaches.
The neck supports the head and consists of seven bones (vertebrae) stacked one on top of the other. They are connected by two facets joints and a disc as well as ligaments. Muscles provide movement for the neck. A fully functioning neck provides movement, allowing us to see all directions. It is often debilitating for those affected because of the restriction of movement experienced due to pain.
There are many various causes of neck pain, such as poor posture, prolonged use of computers, bad sleeping positions, injuries such as a muscle strain, arthritis as well as wear and tear in the bones of the neck which is a normal part of ageing.
According to a study by Harvard University, an acute episode of neck pain with conservative management typically resolves in approximately 6-8 weeks. While the majority of those affected see improvement, the study showed that chronic neck pain persists in 10-34% of those affected.
The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states acupuncture to be “a well-accepted and widely used complementary therapy for the management of neck pain caused by cervical spondylosis (CS)”.
Fractures are breaks or cracks in a bone and generally occur when the force exerted against a bone is stronger than the bone can structurally withstand. Fractures may occur as a result from traumatic incidents such as sporting injuries, vehicle accidents or increased risk as a consequence of underlying medical conditions such as osteoporosis or some types of cancers that cause bones to fracture more easily.
Common sites for bone fractures include the wrist, ankle and hip and are typically treated by immobilising the bone with plaster cast as broken bones heal by themselves. There are three stages of pain from a fracture:
1. Acute pain- pain which occurs immediately after the fracture when the bone has broken
2. Sub-acute pain- pain occurring the first few weeks during the healing process
3. Chronic pain- pain which persists after the fracture has finished healing
Pain management post fractures includes self help strategies such as reducing movement of the limb and ensuring plenty of rest as well as administration of pain relief medicines such as opioids, paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition to these measures, acupuncture has been found to be effective for enhancing pain reduction. More so, one study found acupuncture showed a greater pain relief effect compared to individuals who did not receive acupuncture. Although acupuncture has proven to show some benefit in management of pain as a consequence of fractures, more research around the world is currently underway investigating the analgesic effect of acupuncture in patients with fractures.
 Better Health Channel (2014, September) Bone fractures betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/bone-fractures
 Osteoporosis. General Information about pain after a fracture osteoporosis.ca/bone-health-osteoporosis/living-with-the-disease/after-the-fracture/general-information-about-pain-after-a-fracture/
 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2016, February) Fractures (Non-Complex): Assessment and Management ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK368141/
 HealthCmi (2015, November) Acupuncture Relieves Osteoporotic Spinal Fracture Pain healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1548-acupuncture-relieves-osteoporotic-spinal-fracture-pain
 Xiang et al (2017) The Immediate Analgesic Effect of Acupuncture for Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/3837194/
 Ho et al (2014, May) A novel and effective acupuncture modality as a complementary therapy to acute pain relief in inpatients with rib fractures ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923573
 Clinical Trials (2020, March) Analgesic Effect of Acupuncture for Patients With Rib Fractures clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03822273
Since commencing in 1972 in Australia, Professor Yoland Lim Health Care has utilized the Fong Yang Therapy of acupuncture both in and outside of the hospital setting, with its analgesic effects to treat pain.
Recent studies have suggested and shown the positive effects of acupuncture and its role in surgical operation. There is evidence of acupuncture showing positive benefits in pre-, peri- and post operation.
Studies investigating the role of acupuncture during the time of the patient’s surgery (perioperative) have highlighted the reduction of intake of anaesthetics and analgesics as a consequence of acupuncture treatment,. Similar findings were found in studies investigating the role of acupuncture post operation with patients treated with acupuncture showing reduced pain compared to patients without acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture therapy is not just limited to pain management. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has found significant effects of acupuncture at reducing pre-operative anxiety in patients. This was further reinforced in a subsequent study showing reduced anxiety in surgical patients.
 Dong et al (2015, July) Perioperative acupuncture modulation: more than anaesthesia doi.org/10.1093/bja/aev227
 Fleckenstein et al (2018, October) Acupuncture reduces the time from extubation to ‘ready for discharge’ from the post anaesthesia care unit: results from the randomised controlled AcuARP trial doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33459-y
 Wu et al (2016) The Efficacy of Acupuncture in Post-Operative Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150367
 J Altern Complement Med 2013 May;19(5):420-4. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0494. Epub 2012 Dec 27. Acar et al (2011, June)Acupuncture on Yintang point decreases preoperative anxiety: 1AP6. journals.lww.com/ejanaesthesiology/fulltext/2011/06001/acupuncture_on_yintang_point_decreases.68.aspx
 Bae et al (2014, May) Efficacy of Acupuncture in Reducing Preoperative Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis doi.org/10.1155/2014/850367
Scoliosis is a common type of abnormal spinal curvature whereby the spine has a sideways curve. The exact cause of scoliosis is unknown with current theories suggesting genetic, hormonal and connective/nervous system abnormalities are possible causes. However, most cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, that is, not associated with any other disease or condition. For this reason, medical professionals have classified idiopathic scoliosis in three categories:
1. Infantile (before a child is 2 years old)
2. Juvenile (aged between 2-10 years) and
3. Adolescent (during early adolescence).
Diagnosis of scoliosis includes a physical examination involving the forward bending test, observing shoulder and shoulder blade height, hip location and positioning of lower back upon bending. Treatment varies on the severity of the curvature with all treatments aiming to straighten the spine. This can include wearing a brace or surgery for severe to very severe cases or frequent monitoring for mild cases.
 Better Health Channel (2014, August) Scoliosis. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/scoliosis
 Scoliosis Australia. About Scoliosis – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment. Information for Patients and Parents. scoliosis-australia.org/about-scoliosis/types-of-scoliosis/
 Department of Health – Healthy WA (2019, May). Scoliosis. scoliosis-australia.org/about-scoliosis/types-of-scoliosis/
 Health Direct (2019, April) Scoliosis. healthdirect.gov.au/scoliosis
Shoulder pain is a common condition which frequently becomes chronic. Chronic shoulder pain (CSP) is a common disease causing both pain and functional limitation which has substantial affects on quality of life. According to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), shoulder pain is the third most common reason for patients to seek medical care. It is reported that approximately 10% of medial consultations with GPs are for musculoskeletal related problems.
Some of the common symptoms associated with shoulder pain include pain, stiffness and weakness. People affected commonly experience a combination of these symptoms. There are many various causes such as general wear and tear with increasing age, arthritis, overuse and poor posture. In serious cases, the cause of the pain could be a result of injuries such as bone fractures, shoulder dislocation or shoulder impingement syndrome.
According to The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), acupuncture is an effective treatment for treating chronic pain.