Acupuncture as a treatment for chronic pain

The holistic Chinese therapy of acupuncture has been used to treat chronic pain for thousands of years. Although it’s not considered to be a component of modern medicine, acupuncture has proven beneficial for many individuals who suffer from chronic neck or back pain on a daily basis.

Acupuncture is the insertion of thin needles into the skin at various meridians around the body, which are believed to be areas that have the highest levels of energy. The neural energy created by the needles is meant to relieve stress and reduce pain by overriding or rerouting pain signals that are being sent from another part of the body.

If you have been diagnosed with a spine condition and your physician recommends conservative treatment for pain relief, ask about the benefits of acupuncture for your specific condition.

What can you expect during your acupuncture appointment?

For many people, the idea of undergoing acupuncture for chronic pain management produces some anxiety, mainly because many people are unsure of what to expect. A few details about what to expect during your initial appointment include:

  • Physical exam and interview — In addition to asking about the location and severity of your symptoms, the acupuncturist will also ask about your diet, sleeping habits, stress levels, current medications and sexual activities.
  • Taking your pulse — Practitioners will take your radial pulse as a diagnostic technique. Your pulse rate can indicate a variety of things, including blood flow, hydration levels, stress levels and emotional states.
  • Tongue observation — Ancient Chinese medicine believes that the tongue is a representation of the entire body. An acupuncturist will explore everything from the color and shape of your tongue to the “fuzzy” texture that covers your tongue.
  • Treatment — The initial diagnostic procedures could take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. Insertion of needles will follow, though the locations of insertion will vary from patient to patient depending on the location and cause of your chronic pain.

Acupuncture in conjunction with other treatment methods

Many patients who use acupuncture as an alternative treatment for chronic pain do so in conjunction with other conservative treatments like pain medication, yoga or low-impact exercise. All treatments should be monitored by a medical professional to ensure your health and safety.

If several months of conservative treatments like acupuncture and pain medication do not relieve your symptoms of chronic pain, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

At Laser Spine Institute, we believe patients deserve a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery. That is why our minimally invasive procedures offer a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication and infection compared to traditional spine surgery.

Take the next step on your journey to wellness. Contact Laser Spine Institute today and request a review of your MRI report or CT scan.