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. 

The Challenge of Chronic Pain

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.

The Evidence for Acupuncture

Acupuncture effectively manages pain by modulating pain signals and stimulating the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Additionally, the needling process activates nerve fibers that inhibit pain signals, aligning with the gate control theory of pain.

Acupuncture reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, aids in muscle relaxation, enhances joint and mobility function, addresses nerve compression, and alleviates associated stress commonly experienced with orthopedic and chronic pain.

Acupuncture excels not only in addressing pain but also in treating its underlying causes. For instance, it is often used to treat chronic pain conditions such as pain radiating along nerve pathways, muscle spasms, inflammation, scar tissue, and pain in multiple areas of the body.

Mechanisms of Acupuncture:

The number of acupuncture treatments needed to address these health concerns varies based on their severity. Generally, chronic conditions may require one to two weekly treatments for several months, while acute pain may require fewer visits. Some individuals experience significant relief after just one treatment.

Long-Term Benefits and Treatment Protocol:

A quick Google search of acupuncture and chronic pain studies provides compelling reasons to consider this therapy seriously. Regular acupuncture sessions not only relieve current pain but also reduce overall pain occurrences.

When your acupuncturist carefully places those needles, they go beyond pain management. Through regular acupuncture treatments, you can strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep.

If you struggle with chronic pain, acupuncture offers a pharmaceutical-free, low-risk option supported by studies showing long-term benefits for overall health. Consult with your acupuncturist for a proper health assessment and a personalized plan to alleviate pain and restore you to a healthy and active lifestyle. Schedule your appointment today!