Acupuncture for Pain Management – Why Does It Work?

Chronic pain can make life miserable, however a lot of people are turning to acupuncture for pain management. While traditional approaches to treating chronic pain often provide relief, acupuncture is a natural, non-addictive option that has earned a track record that is definitely worth considering. As a matter of fact, acupuncture is now widely accepted by the medical community and has become a staple in integrative medicine that just about anyone can benefit from.

Why Does Acupuncture for Pain ManagementWork?

Acupuncture works by activating the body’s self-healing abilities. In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is centered on the belief that disease is brought on by a disruption to the flow of Qi, or energy in the body. By changing the body’s energy flow into healthier patterns, acupuncture can help relieve a number of issues including chronic pain.

How Does Acupuncture for Pain Relief Work?

Traditional Chinese acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into the skin at specific “acupoints.” Studies have shown that this practice can relieve chronic pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain killing chemicals and by affecting the part of the brain that controls serotonin, a chemical in the brain that can improve moods. Acupuncture has been used to treat a number of chronic pain conditions that include back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, aka degenerative joint disease, sciatica, chronic headache, facial and knee pain. Acupuncture can also help relieve menstrual pain, the side effects of cancer treatments, menopausal symptoms and more. Acupuncture can be particularly helpful for patients that don’t respond well to pain medications.

Can Acupuncture Repair Nerve Damage?

There have been several scientific studies regarding acupuncture in relation to nerve regeneration, and it has been shown to be successful in repairing damaged nerves. Symptoms of nerve damage include loss of sensation, tingling and burning sensations and pain.

A Drug Free Approach to Pain Relief

Because of today’ sopioid addiction epidemic, doctors are looking at drug-free approaches to pain treatment. Opioid’s are a class of powerful pain medications that include morphine, codeine, Vicodin, Percocet and morphine and OxyContin. The CDC has called opioid overdose deaths an epidemic and advise medical professionals to turn to other treatment options for chronic pain in instances that don’t involve active cancer, palliative care or end-of-life care.

Are There Any Side Effects with Acupuncture?

The negative side effects of acupuncture are minimal and include soreness, bruising or minor bleeding at the needle sites. The benefits of acupuncture far outweigh these side effects. When you compare the negatives to the positives which include but aren’t limited to more improved sleep, better digestion, mental clarity, less stress and pain relief, the benefits definitely win out. To get the best results from acupuncture treatments, find a highly qualified acupuncturist. You may want to start by asking your doctor for a referral.

Because acupuncture has so many positive effects on the mind and body, with minimal incidences of side effects, the practice is well worth adding to an integrative treatment plan.