chronic pain

Acupuncture: Treatment of Chronic Pain

Read Part 3: Acupuncture and the Treatment of Acute Injuries

According to the Institute of Medicine nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, that’s around 1 in every 3 people. Western medical treatment for chronic pain is fairly limited. Many of these patients take unnecessary prescription medications daily in order to manage their pain. Recently, there has been extensive news coverage on the opioid epidemic in America. Frustrated patients and doctors are looking for other options. Fortunately, there is another solution; acupuncture excels at the treatment of chronic pain! A review of 31 clinical trials, which included nearly 18,000 patients, found that acupuncture was effective in the treatment of chronic back, neck, shoulder, headache, and osteoarthritis pain, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Many [people] take unnecessary prescription medications daily in order to manage their pain.

In 2015, the University of Pittsburgh published a study on the use of auricular (ear) acupressure for chronic low back pain. These researchers found that in 4 weeks of treatment patients experienced a significant reduction in pain and an increase in their physical functioning. They also discovered that pro-inflammatory blood markers (the substances that increase inflammation) declined while anti-inflammatory substances in the blood increased. These results show that acupuncture and acupressure change more than just the perception of pain; these therapies actually change the physical environment in a way that promotes healing1)Vickers, A. J., Cronin, A. M., & Maschino, A. C. et al. (2012, October 22). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(19), 1444-1453. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654.

In Parts 1 and 2 of How Does Acupuncture Work? I highlighted some of the important mechanisms that explain how acupuncture helps ease pain. In any type of chronic pain, I work to balance the nervous system and increase circulation while at the same time supporting the body so it has the strength to recover properly. Long term use of pain medications has many risks and only masks the pain. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine go deeper to relieve muscle spasms, ease pain, and stimulate healing naturally.  

Stay tuned for Part 5: How does acupuncture work? To learn how acupuncture can help you become less stressed and HAPPIER!

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References   [ + ]

1.Vickers, A. J., Cronin, A. M., & Maschino, A. C. et al. (2012, October 22). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(19), 1444-1453. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654