Ouch! Pain is pain. When our bodies hurt, they hurt. Sadly, some hurts last longer than others. Moments become a life time of pain with accompanying limitations and isolation.
What is Acute versus Chronic Pain?
Acute pain can last up to 6 months after the injury or onset. The classic example is an ankle sprain. You know when and how it happened. Typically it resolves quickly with minimal long-lasting limitations. This is a normal response to a physical injury.
Acupuncture helps with pain control, minimizes the inflammatory reaction, and speeds up healing time.
Chronic pain is any pain, regardless of onset, that lasts longer than 6 months. Typical chronic pains are neck, shoulder, hands, low back, hips, and knees. Age is not necessarily a factor when considering this pain. Old injuries from high school sports, car accidents from years ago or physically demanding jobs or hobbies will add up and take their toll on our body.
However, what is true —– injured tissues have less mobility and more pain nerve fibers. When pain continues, quality of life and activities are reduced.
Often the first response to pain (acute or chronic) is reaching for a pain-relieving medicine. While this is a viable occasional option, it is not a permanent solution. The 2019 over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication market in the USA was $19 billion!
When the OTCs stop “working,” reaching for stronger and stronger medicines become not only a viscous cycle but a slippery slope as well.
Acupuncture is well known for its analgesic effects on pain.
Research has confirmed acupuncture changes neurotransmitters (biochemicals like norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) at both the peripheral and central nervous system. (reference: Front Neurosci. 2019; 13: 1419)
More importantly, acupuncture not only mitigates pain, it aids in healing injured tissue.
“I think the benefit of acupuncture is clear, and the complications and potential adverse effects of acupuncture are low compared with medication,” says Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. (Reference: Acupuncture is Worth a Try for Chronic Pain)
Pain should not limit your days and activities. Adding acupuncture to your treatment plan provides pain modulation allowing you to strengthen and heal injured muscles and joints.