Have you ever heard of acupuncture therapy? Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment method that can be administered by a licensed acupuncturist. This type of treatment works to alleviate pain and muscle tension while also increasing mobility.
Acupuncture has been shown to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including acute and chronic injuries, overuse injuries, neck pain, headaches, back pain, sciatica, muscle spasms, muscle strains, tendinitis, knee pain, hip pain, fibromyalgia, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and others.
Acupuncture therapy, which is based on the scientific study of the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, is a method of treatment used to relieve pain, particularly in the back and neck, as well as cases of osteoarthritis. This method has been around for a long time! In fact, Practical Pain Management explains the history of acupuncture as follows:
“Acupuncture (a branch of traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM) is a practice 3,500 years older than traditional Western medicine. It works by applying needles, heat, and pressure to specific points on the body. The theory is that invigorating these points releases or redirects the body’s natural energy known as chi or qi because illness and pain come from blockages or imbalances of this vital life force.”
Such methods used today are entirely based on Western medicine principles and research. It creates an environment that improves the body’s ability to heal, ultimately reducing pain.
When performing acupuncture, an acupuncturist will insert a sterile acupuncture needle through the skin into the affected tendons, ligaments, or muscles in order to relieve pain, reduce muscle tension, and improve mobility.
Your acupuncturist will most likely insert needles into acupoints near the source of your pain, but he or she may also choose “distal” acupoints. Distal points are thought to open specific pathways that work in tandem with the pathways opened by local acupoints.
What are the benefits of acupuncture treatment?
There are several benefits of acupuncture treatments, perhaps the largest one being that it is a safe, holistic, and effective form of treatment. In fact, many cases where opioids are prescribed could be avoided by simply participating in acupuncture treatments!
Acupuncture has been used to treat several diverse conditions, from chronic pain sufferers to athletes experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness. It can speed up recovery time and allow you to return to doing the things you love as fast as possible, all without the use of expensive surgeries or addictive medications.
Acupuncture needles help to release the body’s natural painkillers which short-circuit the loop of pain and stiffness, in addition to halting the body’s anticipation of pain. Two of the main outcomes of acupuncture are neurohormone production and endorphin release.
Neurohormone production. Substances like dopamine are released by your body’s glandular system through the strategic placement of acupuncture needles. The needles stimulate the glands so that their secretion is regulated in a more pain-suppressing manner. Dopamine also plays a role in relieving muscular and emotional tension, further enhancing the effects of acupuncture treatment.
Endorphin release. These mood-boosting and pain-suppressing opioid neuropeptides are released by your nervous system by stimulation, such as exercise and acupuncture therapy. You will experience pain relief and an easing of muscle tension in the area most directly related to your pain.
When acupuncture is paired with traditional exercise-based physiotherapy and manual therapy treatment techniques, we have found that a majority of our patients are able to achieve the pain-free goals they come to our clinic with.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Many people assume that because needles are involved, such treatment is excruciatingly painful. This isn’t true! In fact, most of the patients we see report feeling little to no discomfort when undergoing acupuncture treatments.
Our highly-trained acupuncturist knows how to make the process as easy and painless as possible; however, some patients may still experience a “twitch response” when the needle is inserted.
Patients compare this twitch to a quick muscle cramp. There may be some residual soreness in the 24-48 hours following treatment, however, this is nothing to be concerned about and will typically dissipate on its own.
Such sessions often take less than 30 minutes. The number of recommended visits varies depending on the complexity of the problem, but some people report significant relief after a single session!
Are you ready to find the relief you’ve been searching for?
Before beginning your treatment, one of our acupuncturists will meet with you for an assessment. They will conduct a comprehensive exam to determine what areas (acupoints) will need to be addressed and how many sessions will benefit you.
Such treatment could help you find the pain relief you deserve, so what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and give Paul Wiener Physical Therapy a call today, so you can get back to living a comfortable life.