Chronic pain may affect as many as 50 million American adults, with nearly 20 million having symptoms described as high impact, creating significant barriers to daily living. It’s a contributing factor to the current opioid crisis and costly in terms of missed time from work.
Patients and doctors alike are turning to alternative pain management techniques that avoid or minimize the use of opioids and other medications, choosing treatments that aid your body’s own healing methods.
Acupuncture is an ancient component of traditional Chinese medicine that has beneficial health properties accessed by the stimulation of certain points in your body. To explore acupuncture as a chronic pain treatment, visit Integrative Medical Center in Irvine, California. Dr. Jing Li and Dr. Po Chen are experienced acupuncturists ready to help you with your chronic pain condition. They also provide education to patients to help them explore all of their pain, including pain due to migraines.
Principles of acupuncture
The original theories behind acupuncture describe the flow of energy, called qi or chi, through the body along pathways called meridians. Illness and injury were thought to block the flow of energy, but stimulating points along the meridians could release those blocks and help the body return to a state of balance. The chosen points depend on the illnesses and symptoms you experience.
Pain relief applications
Relieving pain is a common use for acupuncture. The way that acupuncture produces pain relief isn’t fully understood, but it’s thought that the needles stimulate the body’s production of endorphins — natural pain relief neurotransmitters that produce a sense of well-being.
A variety of clinical studies reviewed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) show that acupuncture produces strong results in relieving chronic neck and back pain and pain associated with osteoarthritis. It also provides pain relief from migraine headaches.
Typically using between 4 and 10 needles, depending on the goal of treatment, an acupuncture session usually keeps the needles inserted for up to 30 minutes. Since the single-use needles are very fine, they produce little discomfort or pain for most people.
The needles may be manipulated during treatment to enhance their effects. Applying a small electrical current to or heating the needles is another option, depending on your pain condition and our team’s expertise.
Treatment may include one to three sessions a week over a three-month period, and some people choose ongoing sessions to extend the benefits, even after their pain is under control.
Since acupuncture is a drug-free therapy, it’s compatible with other aspects of pain management, and in most cases, it can be added to your treatment plan. Arrange a consultation by contacting Integrative Medical Center by phone or online. Acupuncture therapy may be the chronic pain answer you’ve been seeking. Book your appointment today.