Physical pain, whether acute or chronic is a common occurrence for many; in fact, a national survey found that more than one-quarter of U.S. adults had recently experienced some sort of pain lasting more than a day. Acupuncture is a proven therapy for the reduction and/or relief of many forms of pain.
Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. It may be sharp or dull, off-and-on or steady, localized (such as back pain) or all over (such as muscle aches from the flu). Sometimes, pain alerts us to injuries and illnesses that need attention. Although pain usually goes away once the underlying problem is addressed, it can last for weeks, months, or even years. Chronic pain may be due to an ongoing condition (such as arthritis) or to abnormal activity in pain-sensing regions of the brain, or the cause may be unkown.
Acupuncture and Pain Relief
People use acupuncture for various types of pain. Back pain is the most commonly reported use, followed by joint pain, neck pain, and headache.
- Acupuncture may improve healing of acute injury from sports or improve sports recovery time in general. http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/acupuncture_benefits/acupuncture_for_sports_injuries.php
- Pain associated with head and neck, including TMJ and muscles of the face and jaw can gain great benefit from acupuncture. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2009.0015
- Women who suffer from menstrual discomfort both physical and emotional may benefit from acupuncture. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12410369
- Acupuncture is effective for chronic pain from long standing illness such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and other auto0immune related disorders.
What the Science Says About Acupuncture for Pain
Acupuncture has been studied for a wide range of pain conditions, such as postoperative dental pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, low-back pain, menstrual cramps, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, and tennis elbow.
The NY Times reports on a six year meta-analysis of acupuncture’s use for pain found that acupuncture outperformed standard care when used by people suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/acupuncture-provides-true-pain-relief-in-study/?_r=0