Using Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Relief

Part of Premier Pain’s team approach to pain management is utilizing other specialists along with the services our practitioners provide in the office.  Treatments can include (but are not limited to) physical therapy, rheumatology, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

The Mayo Clinic describes acupuncture as “…the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain.

Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.

A recent article in the New York Daily News discussed acupuncture in-depth with Dr. Houman Danesh, the director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

A typical acupuncture treatment would involve an average of 15 to 20 extremely thin needles inserted around areas of pain for 15-30 minutes.  In certain cases, heat or electricity would be used along with the needles. Usually 5 or 6 sessions of acupuncture are needed to measure effectiveness.  Also, when considering acupuncture, it’s extremely important to make sure that the specialist is a licensed medical professional utilizing proper sanitizing and safety methods.

Although “balancing your life force” sounds like something out of Star Wars rather than medical science, there is enough research to show that acupuncture works.  Dr. Danesh says,  “[The National Institutes of Health] is supporting acupuncture for lower back pain, headaches and arthritis pain. We know it works — the question that remains is how.”

Dr. Danesh reports that after three months of acupuncture treatments, some of his patients say that they are enjoying a reduction of pain and are more energetic.

If you want to consider acupuncture as part of your pain treatment regimen, discuss it with your Premier Pain Centers practitioner.

You can read “The Daily Checkup: Acupuncture is Proving Effective in Treating Many Types of Chronic Pain” on the Daily News’ website by clicking here.