A Drug-Free Approach to Pain Management
Acupuncture is your drug-free approach to pain management. A recent survey found almost 3.5 million Americans said they’d had acupuncture in the previous year. Chronic pain can make life miserable and although it may not be completely treatable, it is important to keep it under control and prevent more pain from occurring over time.
It is important to understand that pain comes in two varieties: acute and chronic. Acupuncture treatment can be very helpful for both, but the treatment goals are different.
Acute pain is the simpler variety. Acupuncture speeds up the healing process by reducing inflammation and swelling as well as providing pain relief. Generally, for acute pain, we will recommend frequent treatments over a relatively short period of time.
Chronic pain is a much more complicated neurological condition. It is often poorly understood and poorly treated. In cases of chronic pain, many times, there is no diagnosis that can adequately explain why people are hurting. Patients often say, “My doctor doesn’t know why I’m in pain.”
Most patients manage chronic pain as if it were a puzzle – A number of pieces have to be put together for the large whole. No one piece may provide adequate pain management, but a few pieces together is the answer. Acupuncture is a piece of the puzzle. Most chronic pain patients pair acupuncture with modalities such as massage, exercise, physical therapy, chiropractic work, etc. In these cases, the goal of pain management to support the highest possible quality of life as eradicating the pain altogether may not happen for some patients.
Acupuncture not only reduces pain by treating the problem area directly, but it also helps with the body with other factors that contribute to pain relief such as – reducing stress, benefiting sleep, lifting and stabilizing moods and improving energy. There is more than one aspect to pain relief and acupuncture can successfully address a number of factors at the same time during each treatment session.
OTHER TREATMENT TECHNIQUES
In addition to needles, modalities used for pain management may include: targeted massage, tui-Na, shiatsu, cupping, gua sha, E-stim, moxa, the application of topicals (such as herbal salves, oils, ointments, linaments) and herbal prescriptions. Each treatment will be tailored to your specific needs and pain. It may be recommend for you to take herbal prescriptions to continue having pain relief between treatment sessions.