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.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine based on inserting thin needles into precise points of the body that likely dates back farther than 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).
Western medical establishments viewed acupuncture with skepticism in the past, and still do to some extent, but modern studies have helped show that this and other forms of traditional medicine can help with a wide range of maladies. While the existence of acupressure points isn’t accepted medical science, the results of therapy targeting these points is accepted, in many cases. While the global medical community largely lacks an explanation for why acupuncture works, it’s an accepted means to treat chronic pain conditions that often afflict older adults.
Acupuncture is a known treatment for many forms of chronic pain, including hip pain, nerve pain, and shoulder tension disorders such as rotator cuff tendonitis. That said, the utility of acupuncture isn’t limited to older adults or those with chronic pain. It has also been successful in treating occupational injuries, negative symptoms associated with office work, sports injuries, and much more.
An Ancient Solution to Modern Ailments
The modern office job entails long hours of sitting, typing, and eye strain. What makes it worse is that many office chairs aren’t conducive to good posture, which is linked to a variety of ailments. Poor circulation, neck pain, headaches, and hand pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome are common problems among those who work in stationary jobs. Prolonged sitting in an uncomfortable chair with poor posture can also cause mid and lower back pain.
However, credible medical journals have published studies showing that acupuncture can effectively treat many of these issues. Careful use of needles at key acupressure points is shown to stimulate local blood flow, aiding circulation. Neck pain and headaches are often intertwined, and patients may experience relief in their head pain after having acupuncture therapy for their neck.
While carpal tunnel can be extremely debilitating, acupuncture has proven to be remarkably effective in treating it. Patients often report reduced discomfort and even restored motor function.
Live an Active Life
Playing sports is wonderful for your physical and mental health, whether you play casually with friends and family or you aspire to stardom. However, it’s not uncommon for people to play a little too hard and develop a range of negative symptoms as a result. 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. Acupuncture is capable of treating the symptoms and aiding the healing process of these disorders, which helps you get back to the activities you love.
Calf, thigh, and hamstring pulled muscles are more common among people who engage in very physically demanding sports such as wrestling. Pulling a groin muscle is one of the worst accidents you can have while playing sports, as it’s difficult to pinpoint the location of the injury and the pain is often remarkably severe. However, the pain and swelling associated with pulled muscles can be treated effectively and quickly by acupuncture. Even in cases of severe sprains, acupuncture can be a valuable component of a treatment regime.
Relief from Nervous System Disorders
The nervous system remains a bold frontier for orthodox medicine. While surgery and drugs can be life-savers when it comes to nervous system disorders, it can’t always solve the root problem or alleviate your symptoms. Acupuncture has a solid track record when it comes to treating many ailments of the nervous system. Nervous system issues typically include an injured or strained nerve sending pain signals. This often takes the shape of acute pain that’s triggered by any pressure that reaches the afflicted nerve.
Facial nerve conditions can be agonizing, unpredictable, and easily aggravated. Jaw pain and trigeminal neuralgia aren’t always curable, but a professional acupuncturist can often relieve these symptoms. In fact, acupuncture sometimes cures these complex nerve disorders.
Chronic pain and stress afflicting the heel is often effectively treated by acupuncture, as well. While heel spurs are not always painful, they’re often associated with plantar fasciitis, a disorder that causes pain at the bottom of your feet. Several weeks of acupuncture therapy often reduces the severity and frequency of plantar fasciitis pain and may aid recovery.
Sciatica is one of the most common nerve problems that people may suffer. Back injuries, prolonged stress, or unhealthy posture can cause damage to the sciatic nerve. People with sciatica may feel severe pain down the lower back, hips, and legs when anything pressures this nerve.
Try Acupuncture for Pain Relief
People with chronic pain syndrome stand to benefit from trying acupuncture to reduce pain. If you live in Santa Monica and struggle with chronic pain, contact us at Total Wellness LA for a free consultation.