Acupuncture for Pain Management



About Pain


Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system due to an injury, wear and tear problems, an infection or chronic inflammations. It may be sharp or dull, off-and-on or steady, localized (such as back pain) or all over (such as muscle aches from the flu). Normally, pain alerts us to injuries and illnesses that need attention. But nobody likes it. Although pain usually goes away once the underlying problem is addressed, it can last for weeks, months, or even years. Chronic pain may be due to an ongoing condition (such as arthritis) or to abnormal activity in pain-sensing regions of the brain, or the cause may not be known.


To relieve their pain, many people take over-the-counter medications—either acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, including aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen). Stronger medications, including NSAIDs in higher dosages and narcotics, are available by prescription only. People may also try non-drug approaches to help relieve their pain. Examples include physical and occupational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, self-care techniques, and CAM therapies such as spinalmanipulation or acupuncture.



Use of Acupuncture for Pain


Acupuncture, among the oldest healing practices in the world, is part of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture practitioners believe that pain is caused by blockage of the meridians in which the energy and blood circulate. To stop the pain, the meridians have to be unblocked. They will stimulate specific points on the body—most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. This therapy is acupuncture.



What the Science Says About Acupuncture for Pain


Acupuncture has been studied for a wide range of pain conditions, such as postoperative dental pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, low-back pain, menstrual cramps, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, and tennis elbow. It has been proved in clinical research that acupuncture has immediate effect as well as long term effect in pain control. Laboratory research shows that acupuncture relieves the pain through improving the blood circulation, accelerating the body metabolism, regulating the peripheral and central nervous system, and adjusting the hormone system.



Does Acupuncture help my pain?


According to Chinese medicine theory, all kinds of pain is caused by or related to blockage of meridians. As acupuncture can unblock the meridians, it can be help most kinds of pain.


Although NHS has only acknowledged the effect of acupuncture on back pain, thousands of people try acupuncture for many more kind of conditions related to different kinds of pain and many of them have good result. So if you are in pain, you should give it a try.


However, it does not mean any acupuncturist can help you. Different acupuncturists have different level of knowledge and skill. An experienced acupuncturist with thorough understanding of Chinese medicine theory can achieve far better result than an average-skilled acupuncturist. Firstly, you have to do some research to find a good one. Secondly, if you not happy with the result after a few sessions of treatment, please do not reach a conclusion too quickly that acupuncture cannot help you. You need to find a better acupuncturist and try another time.