Total Acupuncture & Wellness
Chronic illness in its many forms is one of the most challenging conditions that a person can live with. It can seem like weeks, months, and years go by while the pain worsens, and pain relievers will often only treat the symptoms. However, there’s another method of treating chronic pain without the downsides of medicinal pain relievers: Acupuncture.
Can Acupuncture Treat Sports Injuries?
Playing sports is wonderful for your physical and mental health, but injuries are common among the young and old alike. From specific ailments like tennis elbow to nasty falls or pulled muscles, you can suffer all sorts of injuries that will make it harder for you to live an active life. However, acupuncture is often effective in treating the pain and inflammation associated with sports injuries.
Golfer’s elbow and tennis elbow are two of the most common sports-related injuries among older Americans. While each of these conditions is quite different, they both stem from excessive strain on the elbow which produces pain and inflammation.
The fact that most medicines prescribed for sprains, muscle tension, and pulled muscles are anti-inflammatory means acupuncture is an excellent candidate for treating them. As acupuncture works as a local and general inflammation-reduction treatment, it’s perfectly suited to treating injuries such as calf muscle pulls or thigh and hamstring pulls. A pulled groin is among the most challenging muscle injuries to treat, due to the complexity of the groin area. The fact that acupuncture enhances the natural responses of the body makes it even more suitable for relieving pain in these cases.
Does Acupuncture Work?
Yes, acupuncture works! There are several mechanisms by which acupuncture can relieve pain and inflammation, treat health problems, and help the body heal itself. Reputable, peer-reviewed studies demonstrate the positive results of acupuncture. For instance, this study has shown that acupoints contain nitric oxide synthase activity. In plain English, that means they help regulate blood flow. By pressing on these points, acupuncture increases local concentrations of nitric oxide, causing blood vessel dilation and improving circulation.
After studying the way the body responds to acupuncture, scientists hypothesize that the practice stimulates the neurohormonal systems. By stimulating nerves via the acupressure points of the body, you can encourage the release of beta-Endorphins that reduce the sensation of pain. Inserting the needle may also encourage the production of nerve growth factors, which serves to enhance the healing process. Additionally, acupuncture reduces inflammation markers in localized areas of the body, which reduces inflammation and pain.
Thanks to the way that acupuncture promotes nerve healing, it’s often remarkably effective at treating nerve pain. Trigeminal neuralgia is a severely debilitating nerve disorder that results in chronic facial pain. For instance, hip pain is often caused by Sciatica, a condition involving an injured sciatic nerve. Carpal tunnel is one of the leading causes of chronic hand pain, and sit occurs when the wrist squeezes the median nerve.
A professional acupuncturist will identify the correct acupressure points related to the condition, such as the stomach meridian, and activate them. From there, the natural production of serotonin and other compounds brings pain relief and promotes natural healing. In this study, a woman who suffered chronic face pain for 25 years found that acupuncture virtually cured her condition after six weeks of treatment. Acupuncture is also highly effective in relieving other chronic pain conditions. For instance, it successfully relieves pressure on nerve pathways, a trait which allows acupuncture to cure early-stage carpal tunnel, fully restoring motor function in the process.
Neck and Back Pain
Chronic back pain, stiffness, and neck pain are common forms of spinal pain and discomfort. In the case of a sore or stiff neck, an acupuncturist may insert needles into the Jian Jing pressure point in the shoulders. This procedure often relieves neck soreness as well as headaches. Mid back pain and lower back pain are the primary reasons Americans seek out acupuncture, and studies indicate acupuncture is effective at treating chronic back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends acupuncture for back pain thanks to the analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities of the practice.
Older adults and those with chronic pain should give acupuncture a try, but anyone who lives an active lifestyle should keep acupuncture in mind. Sprains, pulled muscles, and other sports injuries happen to everyone and acupuncture is an excellent choice to reduce pain and promote healing.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine based on inserting thin needles into precise points of the body. Historical documents first mention the practice over 2,000 years ago, but it likely dates back as far as 10,000 years. It’s believed Bronze Age Chinese healers used sharpened bones, but needles replaced them at some point during the advance of metalworking. By precisely stimulating pressure points known as acupressure points around the body, acupuncture may reduce pain, nerve stress, and inflammation. As a result, the practice remained a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM, for short).
Will Acupuncture Work for You?
Acupuncture is a form of physical therapy with a high rate of effectiveness that’s suitable for virtually everyone. It’s an extremely safe procedure, and side effects are typically non-existent or limited to some minor bruising. You can rely on acupuncture whether you’re an older adult suffering from chronic pain, a young athlete suffering from a sports injury, or if you’re simply looking to experience the relaxing effect that patients enjoy.
Here at Total Wellness LA, we’re experienced practitioners of traditional medicine and believe in a holistic, East meets West approach to health and wellness. In addition to acupuncture, we provide several other forms of wellness services such as massage therapy and detox. If you’re averse to needles, you can also give our acupressure therapy a try. We believe that Total Wellness LA is the top acupuncture clinic in Santa Monica and the West Los Angeles area. If you’re interested in seeing how acupuncture therapy works for you, contact us for a free consultation.