Chronic Pain

While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain behaves differently. Acute pain is a temporary condition, while chronic pain persists and can cause pain signals to continue firing for weeks, months, and even years.

Chronic pain typically develops from an unresolved injury or disease process. Some people, however, experience long-term pain even in the absence of an initial injury or pathology. Some common chronic pain complaints include: headaches, low back pain, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, arthritis, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to a nerve), and psychogenic pain (unexplained pain in the absence of injury or disease).

Acupuncture treatment for chronic pain

For many people, acupuncture is an effective means of relieving pain. The World Health Organization and US National Institute of Health have independently given formal approval for the use of acupuncture in the treatment of pain syndromes and a variety of other conditions. related article

Acupuncture works by encouraging oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to flow to the affected area, facilitating the body’s natural healing response. It can reduce swelling and inflammation as well as stimulate a release of endorphins to reduce pain. Clinical investigators have tested chronic pain patients and found that they often have lower than normal levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. In clinical trials with acupuncture, testing has shown higher levels of endorphins in patients following treatment. related article

Acupuncture is also effective at addressing the emotional component of chronic pain. People struggling with chronic pain conditions often find themselves dealing with depression and mental-emotional stress. Pain can become all-consuming and may interfere with daily living as well as compromise a person’s quality of life.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have a long history of successfully treating depression and other mental-emotional disorders. Current research has revealed that some of the brain chemistry changes created by acupuncture are similar to those caused by antidepressant medications. Common feelings expressed by patients after an acupuncture treatment include a sensation of lightness, reduced stress levels and a decrease in their pain symptoms.

 

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