Can Acupuncture Help Chronic Pain?

Waking up to daily pain can take a toll — physically, mentally, and emotionally. And when pain lingers for months or years, it’s easy to feel defeated. As you search for much-needed solutions, you might be hesitant to turn to solutions like surgery or medications, which carry a degree of risk with which you’re not comfortable. If that sounds familiar, it might be time to explore alternative solutions like acupuncture.

Managing chronic pain is complex, and there’s no single path that suits everyone’s needs. Here at Summit Pain Alliance, our team understands pain better than most, which is why we offer a wide range of treatment options, from interventional therapies like nerve blocks to referrals for alternative solutions like acupuncture.

If you’re curious about how acupuncture works to relieve chronic pain, read on.

Acupuncture — promoting healing

While modern medicine has come a long way in solving many health-related problems, that doesn’t mean that traditional approaches are obsolete, especially when it comes to solving enduring issues like chronic pain.

Acupuncture was first used millennia ago in China, and the practice is based on the principle that the human body has a certain flow of energy (qi) that helps it function optimally. The energy system is made up of more than 2,000 acupuncture points, which are connected by pathways in your body called meridians.

If there are blockages along this vast network, it can disrupt the flow of your qi, which includes healing resources. To restore the proper flow of qi, we use very thin needles inserted into strategic acupuncture points around your body. While the mere mention of needles may sound painful, we assure you that acupuncture is virtually painless when administered properly.

To put some more modern lingo to acupuncture, we’ve found that the practice influences your neurotransmitters, hormone levels, and your immune system. For treating chronic pain, for example, acupuncture encourages the release of endorphins (the so-called ”feel good” hormones) and quiets pain signaling.

Putting acupuncture to the test

While we can provide anecdotal information that supports the success of using acupuncture to ease chronic pain, much research has been conducted on using acupuncture to relieve pain.

For example, one study, which was published in The Journal of Pain, collected data from several trials to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in relieving pain. After gathering information from nearly 21,000 patients in 39 trials, the authors concluded that “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, with treatment effects persisting over time.”

What acupuncture can treat

Acupuncture is a tool that we use to treat a wide range of painful conditions, such as:

Since acupuncture isn’t an invasive or risky approach to pain management, we feel that it can play a role in almost any condition that causes pain.

If you’d like to learn more about acupuncture and whether it may help with your chronic pain, contact one of our locations in Santa Rosa or Petaluma, California, to set up a consultation.

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