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Acupuncture for Orthopedic Pain

Acupuncture for Orthopedic Pain

Orthopedic pain is a big deal for many Americans, and it comes in many different forms including knee, hip, shoulder, and other joint pain. Acupuncture has been proven an effective tool to deal with orthopedic pain…even Harvard Medical School thinks so. 

Chronic pain can be debilitating for those suffering from it and directly impacts quality of life. People often treat chronic pain with anti-inflammatory medications (both prescription and over the counter), physical therapy, or with ice and heat, but those options don’t always provide long lasting relief. According to Harvard Medical School, “acupuncture is an option with a good track record that’s worth considering.” 

Harvard cites a study originally published in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found acupuncture to be a valid and effective treatment for chronic pain conditions. “Research from an international team of experts adds to the evidence that it does provide real relief from common forms of pain. The team pooled the results of 29 studies involving nearly 18,000 participants. Some had acupuncture, some had ‘sham’ acupuncture, and some didn’t have acupuncture at all. Overall, acupuncture relieved pain by about 50%.”

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment varies for each individual depending on the severity of the condition, there are many who find relief through acupuncture treatment for their orthopedic concerns. Here are a few ways it can help.

Acupuncture is extremely effective at pain management by modulating pain signals and stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. There is also something known as gate control theory where the needling process used can activate nerve fibers that inhibit pain signals, following the gate control theory of pain. 

Acupuncture can reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, aid in muscle relaxation, improve joint and mobility function, address nerve compression, and reduce the stress that so often comes with orthopedic and chronic pain. 

What acupuncture does best is not to merely address the pain, but to treat the underlying cause of the pain. For example, acupuncture is often indicated to treat chronic pain conditions that radiate pain along a nerve pathway, pain causing muscle spasms, inflammation, scar tissue, and pain that is in multiple areas of the body. 

The number of acupuncture treatments required to properly address these health concerns varies according to the severity of the issue. In general terms, a chronic condition might require one to two weekly treatments for several months, while the sudden onset of pain can likely require a fewer number of visits. For others, significant relief is found after just a single treatment.

Just a quick Google search of acupuncture and chronic pain studies provides ample reason to give this therapy serious consideration. One of the greatest benefits to receiving regular acupuncture treatments is that it doesn’t just relieve your current pain. Having regular acupuncture sessions can reduce your overall occurrences of pain.

When your acupuncturist carefully places those needles, it is going far beyond just pain management. Through regular acupuncture treatments, you can strengthen your immune system, decrease stress, lower your blood pressure and even improve your sleep.

If you struggle with chronic pain, acupuncture is a pharmaceutical free, low-risk option that studies prove can offer long-term benefits for your overall health, not just your chronic pain. Let your acupuncturist do a proper health assessment and develop a plan to get you out of pain and back on track to a healthy and active lifestyle. Make your appointment today!

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