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Wenhui Qiao, OMD, LAc
Acupuncture For Chronic Pain
Holycross Acupuncture and Herbs

Acupuncture For Chronic Pain

Acupuncture For 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 is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap (sprained back, serious infection), or there may be an ongoing cause of pain (arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, gallbladder disease, and ear infection), but some people suffer from chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.

Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), or psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system). Some kinds of chronic pain have numerous causes.

Over 35% of households include one or more persons who are currently experiencing pain or were regularly troubled with pain. Females have a higher pain prevalence than males. Pain prevalence rates increase with age for both sexes.

Pain conditions are typically located in the back (33%), head and neck (24%), and leg (22%).

The treatments for chronic pain are as diverse as the causes. From over-the-counter and prescription drugs to mind/body techniques to acupuncture, if one approach doesnt work, another one might. But when it comes to treating chronic pain, no single technique is guaranteed to produce complete pain relief. Relief may be found by using a combination of treatment options.

Acupuncture is thought to decrease pain by increasing the release of endorphins chemicals that block pain. Many acu-points are near nerves. When stimulated, these nerves cause a dull ache or feeling of fullness in the muscle. The stimulated muscle sends a message to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), causing the release of endorphins that block the message of pain from being delivered to the brain.

Acupuncture is useful as an accompanying treatment for many pain-related conditions including headache, low back pain, menstrual cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, cancer pain and more. Acupuncture also is an acceptable alternative to or is included as part of a comprehensive pain management program.

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