Acupuncture for pain relief has been increasingly accepted in the United States as an alternative treatment for chronic pain. Today the ancient Chinese practice is also being covered by a growing number of insurance companies. Respected medical organizations, including the Cleveland Clinic, have integrated Acupuncture into their traditional medical treatment plans.
The Treatment Goals of Acupuncture for Pain Relief
There are several different treatment goals of acupuncture for pain relief, including the reduction of the symptoms of pain and improving the overall health of the connective tissue, muscles and bones. The focus is on removing obstructions to circulation, and encouraging the body to self-heal.
The Acupuncture Treatment Process
The ultra-fine needles used in acupuncture are utilized in several ways. One is to release muscle and trigger points, stimulating the muscles in precise areas, releasing them from a contracted state. Acupuncture also releases bound up connective and fascia tissue, encouraging the delivery of healing blood flow to the muscles. After an injury, muddled fibers can’t transmit information correctly, which ends up limiting the body’s ability to properly heal itself. Acupuncture releases these fibers, allowing the signals to travel throughout the body in a healing way says CT Acupuncturist Samantha Jacob.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief and Heat Therapy
Heat treatments like TDP heat lamps and moxibustion are sometimes used along with acupuncture to increase blood flow, relax muscles and boost circulation. If swelling, redness and inflammation is involved, some acupuncturists will also use soothing, anti-inflammatory herbal remedies.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief – Common Conditions Treated
Lower Back Pain
This is one of the most common reasons patients seek out alternative treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic’s and massages. Lower back pain is typically brought on by excessive sitting (desk jobs), a herniated disk or an old sports injury. Acupuncture is an excellent therapy for all the causes listed here and can strengthen and relax the back which can prevent future injuries.
Sciatica is characterized by gnawing, often debilitating pain that radiates from the low back and down through either leg. Acupuncture has been proven to a highly effective form of treatment for those suffering from sciatica.
Shoulder and Neck Pain
Most people hold tension in their shoulders and neck, which can cause severe neck and shoulder pain. Additional causes of pain in these areas develop because of bad posture, excessive time spent driving or sitting at a desk. Even people dealing with whiplash injuries can find relief with acupuncture.
Repeated use injuries are frequent in joints that include the elbow. Using acupuncture, sometimes combined with massage techniques and herbal remedies, can soothe inflammation and release tension from overstressed muscles. This makes it possible for muscles to lengthen, relax and heal.
Arthritis, tendinitis and imbalanced musculature can all cause knee pain. Acupuncture tracks the several pathways that run through the knees, improving balance and structural alignment. This in turn provides symptomatic and long-term pain relief and healing.
It has become clear that acupuncture for pain relief works treating all of the conditions mentioned above and more. This ancient Chinese medical approach and traditional medicine actually complement one another, a combination that is definitely worth trying.