Holistic Pain Management
Acupuncture is very effective at relieving acute and chronic pain. According to the CDC, over "54% of U.S. adults have a musculoskeletal pain disorder." Pain is a leading cause of disability and a primary reason people seek out medical care. Besides physical discomfort, pain can negatively affect quality of life, cause missed work or school, and lead to emotional distress. More and more people are seeking out holistic medicine to manage their pain so they don't have to be on as many pain medications (over the counter or prescription), injections, or undergo interventions/surgery. Pain disorders include a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions injuries or inflammatory conditions that cause pain in the body's joints, muscles, tendons or nerves. A few of the most common is neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and headaches.
Acupuncture Pain Research
A meta-analysis published by the American Medical Association in 2012 studied 17,922 patients suffering from back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headaches. Acupuncture was evaluated for the treatment of these chronic pains, and the study results were that “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option and the acupuncture groups was superior to the non-acupuncture control groups, and the sham acupuncture groups.” In addition, in September 2015, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University researchers published a study finding that acupuncture treatment may reduce the need for opioids by restoring the balance in key brain regions and altering pain-related attention and memory. Acupuncture is effective in reduction of pain and pain management and can be safely used in conjunction with conventional treatments.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and had a painful kink in your neck that wouldn't go away? Or worked out a little too zealously and ended up pulling a muscle or causing sciatica pain? While strategic use of NSAIDs may take the edge off, long-term use has side-effects. Acupuncture is an option to consider instead of reaching for the pill bottle, or if medication isn't resolving the pain. I see people everyday with similar stories and the good news is that acupuncture is effective at relieving acute pain such as a sports-injuries, injuries from a car accident, pulled muscles, sciatica etc.
Chronic pain affects "more than 50 million Americans," according to research by the National Institutes of health. If you have pain that is chronic or comes and goes but never resolves completely, you are likely seeking out all options for pain relief. I treat various chronic pain conditions and there is nothing I like to hear more than when my patients tell me that not only is their pain less, but they have improved quality of life, feel more like themselves, and can return to some of their previous hobbies/activities.
Headaches/migraines are one of my favorite conditions to treat! People with chronic headaches find ways to "live with them," and push through. But often times they may be suffering through several headaches per week, make it through work and then are cranky and snappy with their family when they get home because they are miserable and just have to go lay down. Conventional treatment is usually a preventative prescription like topamax and an acute medication like imatrex or over-the-counter such as excedrin migraine. If you have chronic headaches and want to explore options besides medication, acupuncture can help.