Doctors Prove The Use Of Acupuncture For Chronic Pain
Newer, more recent high-level research emerges every year in regard to the effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic pain. A meta-analysis in the Journal of Pain by Vickers, et. al. and published in May of 2018 found that, “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects. Referral for a course of acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for a patient with chronic pain.”
This is an impressive finding by these authors as a meta-analyses such as this is at the top of the research pyramid and can carry a high level of confidence in its findings.
The number of people who have either suffered or are suffering from chronic pain is enormous. It is estimated that almost one-third of adults in America may have had issues with chronic pain. There are three primary sources of chronic pain.
- Low back pain,
- Migraine or severe headache, and
- Neck pain.
Chronic pain may also be a result of an injury that may likely continue for several weeks or years, even after the injury may have healed. Nerve signals in the affected injury site may continually send messages of pain to the brain. Damages to nerves, as well as a malfunctioning of the brain's means of relaying sensory information, may also be underlying causes of chronic pain.
Not to mention that pain can actually exist in the brain and spinal cord alone rather than some peripheral source such as the low back, wrist, or knee. This means that the peripheral pain can actually heal but the pain exists in the brain still and our brain causes us to move and feel in ways that may not be necessary at all. The classic example of pain existing in the brain rather than a peripheral source is the existence of pain in an amputated limb. This is also known as ‘phantom limb pain.’ The limb is gone yet the individual still feels pain in the limb. There is only one explanation. The pain experience exists in the brain.
Chronic pain and its effect on the quality of life
Many people with chronic pain issues have reported problems associated with sleeping. The absence of restorative sleep is said to worsen the pain, which could lead to a cycle of pain. Chronic pain can cause slower recovery time, improper functioning of the nerves and muscles as well as other psychological and emotional issues including depression. It may even lead to chronic pain syndrome, which may require a more enhanced treatment procedure from professional chiropractors in Amarillo.
As mentioned, the symptom of chronic pain syndrome may include depression but also poor sleep, anxiety, irritability, abuse of drugs or alcohol, lack of sexual interest, and suicidal thoughts.
Acupuncture as a treatment for chronic pain
Acupuncture is a non-surgical treatment of chronic pain and is known to be an instrumental technique for providing relief for chronic pain. The mechanism of how acupuncture helps in treating symptoms of pain has been undergoing research for several years, with many findings still to be made. Acupuncture is said to deactivate pain centers in your brain through neural pathways from the stimulating acupuncture points.
Experts’ closest guess at this time is that acupuncture provides relief from chronic pain by activating your body's natural opioids. It also is thought to help to enhance the sensitivity of your brain to opioids. Acupuncture stimulation also regulates and releases several biochemicals such as adenosine and ATP, substance P.27, and GABA that are actively involved in alleviating pain.
People with chronic pain have been reported to be at greater risk for substance abuse to provide temporary relief from the pain. Abuse or overdose of medications may lead to other severe complications that may be hazardous to health. However, acupuncture provides a safer and more effective alternative to the use of drugs and other forms of medications. The use of acupuncture with chiropractic protocols by chiropractors in Amarillo for the treatment of chronic pain has proved to be most successful over the years.
Acupuncture does not just treat chronic pain, but it also helps in treating the underlying symptoms of chronic pain. Research has shown that acupuncture is effective in treating depression, PTSD, and anxiety issues. It ensures that the body is relaxed by aiding the release of feel-good hormones in the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a natural, effective, and safe means of treating chronic pain, orthopedic conditions, and injuries. People with musculoskeletal issues, migraines, osteoarthritis, etc. tend to seek acupuncture as a viable treatment option for their health conditions. Nowadays, many people are seeking non-surgical and non-pharmaceutical means of treating chronic pain, such as the use of acupuncture because it provides a shorter recovery time, and its minimal side effects.
The Acupuncture Process
To treat chronic pain with acupuncture, the acupuncturist or chiropractor inserts tiny needles into specific points in the skin. The acupuncture process helps to stimulate endogenous opioids release. It also triggers the release of pain-relieving chemicals or neurotransmitters. Acupuncture provides your body with the ability to heal itself from chronic pain and other musculoskeletal issues.
If you are seeking an alternative treatment procedure for chronic pain, you may want to consider going for acupuncture therapy. However, the procedure must be carried out by an experienced, licensed professional.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and this is taking much of your time because you are not allowed to carry out your usual daily activities, then you might want to consider calling Creek Stone Integrated Care.
We are consistently rated as one of the best chiropractors in Amarillo, and our compassionate team will not only help you with the best and most effective chiropractic treatment, but we can also provide you with knowledge on how to take control of your health.
If you are in the Amarillo, TX area, now is a good time to call the only Fellowship-trained chiropractic orthopedist in all of West Texas west of the I-35 corridor.
Our staff is ready and prepared to get you better, faster, for good.
Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM
Creek Stone Integrated Care
3501 SW 45th St., Ste. T
Amarillo, TX 79109
1. Vickers AJ, V.E., Lewith G,, Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. J Pain, 2018. 19(5): p. 455-474.