Where Does It Hurt? Acupuncture for Pain Relief

How Acupuncture Can Help Treat Your Pain

Medication isn't the only option if you have aches and pains. Acupuncture treatment offers a drug-free way to ease or end your pain.

How Does Acupuncture Relief Pain?

Centuries ago, Chinese medical practitioners created acupuncture, a natural treatment designed to target the source of illness and pain. They theorized that physical and health problems were caused by a blockage of Qi, the vital life force that flows through the body.

They tested their theory by inserting hair-thin needles into their patients' skin at specific points called meridians. Insertion of the needles cleared the blockages, allowing Qi to flow freely once again. Once normal balance was restored, patients experienced a dramatic decrease in their symptoms.

Acupuncture continues to offer a simple, effective way to treat pain today. Treatments also trigger the release of endorphins, natural painkillers produced by the body that deactivate pain centers in the brain and enhance healing. Acupuncture may also increase your sensitivity to the effects of pain medications, allowing you to decrease your daily dosage.

What Types of Pain Do Acupuncturists Treat?

Acupuncture is an effective treatment for both acute (sudden onset) and chronic pain. It's an excellent choice if you experience:

  • Injuries. Whether you've sprained your ankle, broken a bone, pulled a muscle or torn a ligament, acupuncture treatment can relieve your pain. A study conducted by RMIT University researchers concluded that acupuncture was just as helpful as pain medication in treating pain in emergency room patients. Ankle sprains were among the conditions treated in this Australian study.
  • Migraines and Chronic Headaches. Pain from a migraine or chronic headache can make even the simplest tasks much more difficult. Migraine or headache pain may affect your ability to work, drive or even think. Although pain medications can be helpful, the drugs often cause nausea and other unpleasant side effects. Acupuncture treatments can decrease the severity of your pain and the number of days you experience headaches without causing any side effects.
  • Back, Neck or Shoulder Pain. Nearly everyone experiences back, neck or shoulder pain at some point in their lives. Poor posture, injuries or wear and tear due to aging can cause acute or chronic pain. Opioid medications dull symptoms when pain is severe but can cause addiction. Visits to your acupuncturist offer a safer way to manage your pain. Acupuncture treatment decreased pain and improved function in multiple research trials examined in a Journal of Pain meta-analysis. Study participants continued to experience the benefits of acupuncture one year after treatment.
  • Arthritis. Osteoarthritis isn't just painful but can lead to decreased mobility and range of motion. When it hurts to move, lounging on the couch is a much more appealing option than going for a walk or hitting the gym. Unfortunately, limiting your physical activity may make it even more difficult to move your joints. By easing your pain, acupuncture also helps you keep your joints and muscles flexible.
  • Menstrual Symptoms: Taking paid time off for menstrual cramps may not have been the way you intended to spend your days away from work, yet using your PTO may be the only option if cramps are severe. Acupuncture treatment relaxes uterine muscles, increases blood flow to the uterus and reduces inflammation, easing cramps, and other symptoms.

Would you like to treat your acute or chronic pain naturally? Acupuncture treatment can help you manage your symptoms. Contact us to schedule your appointment.

Sources:

WebMD: Why Does Acupuncture Work?

American Academy of Family Physicians: Research Finds Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain, 5/21/18

Journal of Pain: Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Date Meta-Analysis, 5/18

RMIT University: Acupuncture Relieves Pain In Emergency Patients: Study, 6/19/17

Harvard Health: Relieving Pain with Acupuncture

Migraine Research Foundation: Migraine Facts

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