Are you experiencing pain most days? Do you find it hard to remember a time you didn’t have pain? Have you tried every prescription drug to relieve your pain without significant relief? Or are you wanting a safer and healthier long-term option?
What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is defined as having pain that has lasted longer than 3 months. The most common pain conditions we treat are:
- Low back pain
- Neck pain
- Peripheral neuropathy
In most cases, people who suffer from chronic pain will also have issues with sleep, depression, anxiety, and/or digestive dysfunction. Chinese medicine and acupuncture treat the whole body, which is why patients very often leave feeling better than when they came in for reasons other than just their pain relief.
How can acupuncture and Chinese medicine help with my pain?
Acupuncture is widely known for its effectiveness in treating chronic pain. This is treated at our clinic every day and it can really help give someone their life back. We recommend not waiting to get treated because “little” or acute pain is much easier to treat than “big” or chronic pain. The longer a condition has been going, the more treatments may be needed.
On your first appointment, after an examination where we thoroughly go over your symptoms and health complaints, you will be given dietary, supplement, herbal medicine, and lifestyle guidance. Click here to learn when you should use ice versus heat on an area of pain.
Many people experience temporary relief with their first treatment and find that over time, the intensity and the frequency of their pain diminishes. Some conditions require consistent treatments over a long period, but others may find that their pain is gone after a course of treatment.
It is amazing what the body can do. Acupuncture stimulates your body to heal. By drawing oxygen-rich blood to areas of pain it helps to reduce inflammation and pain. Acupuncture also activates the nervous system, immune, and endocrine systems to promote healing and release natural painkillers. We each have a healing machine inside!
“Our bodies can do it. We are not animals who are dependent on drugs.” – Paul Magarelli, MD
What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is an illness that causes chronic pain in muscles and ligaments. It is most common in women between their mid-30s and mid-50s. In addition to muscular pain and stiffness, this ailment can also cause fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and an inability to think clearly.
What causes fibromyalgia?
The causes are unknown, but there are plenty of potential causes. It could possibly be the level of a cerebral spinal fluid called substance P, which transmits pain impulses to the brain. People with fibromyalgia have substance P levels three times higher than those without it. Heightened levels of this substance could explain why fibromyalgia patients are hypersensitive to pain. Other possible causes are lack of deep sleep, genetic predisposition, stress, dopamine dysfunction, deficient growth hormone (GH) secretion, psychological factors and physical trauma.
How is fibromyalgia diagnosed?
- Widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of 3 months.
- Significant tenderness or pain in at least 11 of 18 specified tender points when pressure is applied.
- Presence of related symptoms: fatigue, sleep problems (due to pain), and depression.
How can Chinese medicine and acupuncture help with fibromyalgia?
Chinese medicine and acupuncture can:
- Reduces pain and stiffness
- Improves circulation
- Reduces fatigue
- Improves mood
- Increases sense of well-being
Acupuncture has been proven to be a safe option for most people. It can help with multiple issues that result from chronic pain conditions. We are currently experiencing an opioid abuse epidemic that is causing an increase in addiction, injuries, and deaths. It is in our best interests as individuals and as a community to address pain differently by treating it rather than simply masking it with strong pharmaceutical drugs.
“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but by all means, keep moving.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
References for chronic pain:
- Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Archives of internal medicine. 2012;172(19):1444-1453. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.3654.
- Acupuncture: In Depth. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction. Accessed Nov. 9, 2017.
- Berman BM, Langevin HM, Witt CM, et al. Acupuncture for chronic low back pain. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363(5):454–461.
- Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Avins AL, et al. A randomized trial comparing acupuncture, simulated acupuncture, and usual care for chronic low back pain. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(9):858–866.
- Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2007;147(7):478–491.
- Cummings M. Modellvorhaben Akupunktur—a summary of the ART, ARC and GERAC trials. Acupuncture in Medicine. 2009;27(1):26–30.
- Furlan A, Yazdi F, Tsertsvadze A, et al. Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain II. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 194. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2010. AHRQ Publication No. 10(11)–E007.
- Hinman RS, McCrory P, Pirotta M, et al. Acupuncture for chronic knee pain. A randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;312(13):1313–1322.
- Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(1):CD001218. Accessed at www.thecochranelibrary.com on July 2, 2014.
- Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(1):CD007587. Accessed at www.thecochranelibrary.com on July 2, 2014.
- Manheimer E, Cheng K, Linde K, et al. Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010;(1):CD001977. Accessed at www.thecochranelibrary.com on July 2, 2014.
- Vickers AJ, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, et al. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2012;172(19):1444–1453.
- Vickers AJ, Linde K. Acupuncture for chronic pain. JAMA. 2014;311(9):955–956.
- Witt CM, Jena S, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for patients with chronic neck pain. Pain. 2006;125(1–2):98–106.
- Yuan J, Purepong N, Kerr DP, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture for low back pain: a systematic review. Spine. 2008;33(23):E887–E900.
References for fibromyalgia:
- Vas J, Modesto M, Aguilar I, Santos-Rey K, Benítez-Parejo N, Rivas-Ruiz F. Effects of acupuncture on patients with fibromyalgia: study protocol of a multicentre randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2011;12:59. doi :10.1186/1745-6215-12-59.
- Deare JC, Zheng Z, Xue CC, et al. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2013;5:CD007070.
- Itoh K, Kitakoji H. Effects of acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia: A preliminary randomised controlled trial. Chinese Medicine. 2010;5:11. doi :10.1186/1749-8546-5-11.
- Improvement in Fibromyalgia Symptoms With Acupuncture: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial Martin, David P. et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 81 , Issue 6 , 749 – 757
- Teresa Clarke, MD. Treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture and counseling. BCMJ, Vol. 46, No. 1, January, February, 2004, page(s) 21-23 — Articles.
- Smith B, Peterson K, Fu R, et al. Drug Class Review: Drugs for Fibromyalgia: Final Original Report [Internet]. Portland (OR): Oregon Health & Science University; 2011 Apr. Appendix A, The American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia.Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK55559/