Have you ever been in extreme pain? Traumatic, right? It’s a constant distraction that drains your energy and enthusiasm.
Pain is something that everyone experiences at some point in their life. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 100 million people worldwide experience severe pain every day.
There are two types of pain. Acute pain is a short-term, sharp, burning sensation that is usually caused by injury or surgery. It’s also called nociceptive pain because it’s the body’s way of telling you to stop doing whatever you were doing before your injury occurred. Acute pain is often treated with analgesics such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or opioids like morphine.
Chronic pain can be a debilitating condition that doesn’t go away after an injury heals. It can last from months to years.
It affects more than 50% of Americans. Most people who suffer from chronic pain never seek help because they don’t think anything can be done to relieve it. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), chronic pain is characterized as “pain lasting longer than three months.”
Chronic pain can cause depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and other symptoms. Some people even develop an addiction to opioid medications used to treat it. If left untreated, chronic pain can lead to long-term disability, loss of productivity or even a job, and increased healthcare costs.
Chronic pain is typically accompanied by inflammation which can cause diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It’s not just limited to physical ailments either; mental health issues can also stem from inflammation. Depression, anxiety, and stress are all linked to inflammation.
The good news is that acupuncture has been proven effective in treating both acute and chronic pain. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that patients who received acupuncture experienced less pain during dental procedures than those who didn’t receive any treatment. Another study showed that acupuncture was able to reduce the pain patients felt when undergoing chemotherapy.
The Link Between Chronic Pain and Inflammation
Chronic pain has several causes. Some are physical injuries, while others are psychological. Since one of the most common reasons for chronic pain is inflammation, being diagnosed with arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or another inflammatory condition, indicates that you have inflammation and pain.
If you have experienced any of these conditions, you are well aware of how painful they can be.
Inflammation occurs when cells lining blood vessels swell and release chemicals that cause redness, heat, swelling, and pain. These chemicals include histamines, bradykinins, prostaglandins, serotonin, and endorphins. They work together to produce symptoms similar to those associated with acute pain.
According to Pain Treatment Centers of America, inflammation usually causes pain because the swelling of tissue presses against nerve endings. This pressure causes pain signals to be sent to the brain, which causes discomfort.
If the inflammation persists, the nerves become inflamed themselves. This causes them to send out pain signals even when there is no actual damage occurring.
This is why chronic pain can be so difficult to treat. When the body produces too much of certain chemicals, it becomes self-perpetuating. The more chemicals released, the more likely it is that other chemicals will be released, causing more inflammation.
How Acupuncture Can Help You Deal With Your Chronic Pain and Inflammation
Most doctors will tell you that there are no cures for chronic pain and inflammation. They may also say that the best treatment available is medication. However, this is not true. In fact, acupuncture has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for chronic pain.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture is used to balance energy flow throughout the body. By stimulating specific points on your body using needles, acupuncturists can improve circulation and reduce inflammation.
For example, if you have a pinched nerve, your doctor may recommend acupuncture to relieve the pain. Acupuncture stimulates the point where the nerve meets the spinal cord, relieving the pain and restoring normal function.
In addition, acupuncture helps with pain management by regulating hormones and neurotransmitters. Hormones regulate mood and emotions, while neurotransmitters control our thoughts and actions. Acupuncture regulates the levels of these chemicals, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. And, pain causes stress and often leads to anxiety.
Acupuncture also reduces inflammation by reducing the number of chemical messengers produced by immune system cells. As we age, our bodies begin producing less of these chemicals, making us more susceptible to illness. Acupuncture restores this natural process, allowing us to heal faster.
When we have negative feelings or emotional trauma, the meridian channels become blocked. This results in pain and other physical problems.
When we use acupuncture to stimulate points that are known to relieve pain and stress, it allows the body’s own healing processes to take place. It improves circulation, increases the production of endorphins, and decreases inflammation.
Acupuncture works to restore balance between the mind and body. If you suffer from chronic pain, acupuncture can help you cope with the symptoms and live life as normally as possible.
In addition to reducing pain, acupuncture may also improve sleep quality, decrease anxiety, lower blood pressure, and increase immune function. These benefits make it a great option for anyone suffering from chronic pain.
Acupuncture provides relief without side effects. It can also help you learn how to deal with your condition on a day-to-day basis.
Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating both acute and chronic pain. Studies show that acupuncture reduces pain better than over-the-counter drugs and prescription medication.
What is Electroacupuncture and How Can It Help with Chronic Pain and Inflammation?
Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture that uses electrical stimulation along with needles to treat pain. The theory behind electroacupuncture is that the body has natural electrical signals that control our organs and tissues. When these signals are disrupted, they lead to pain.
By stimulating certain points using electricity, the body’s natural healing process is triggered. This helps reduce inflammation and chronic pain.
There are several different types of devices used for electroacupunture. Some of the devices are even used without inserting needles. Instead of attaching the device to a needle inserted into the skin, they send pulses through the skin. Either way, the pulses create an electric current that travels along the meridians.
This type of therapy has proven to be very beneficial for people who suffer from chronic pain. For example, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that electroacupuncture was just as effective as prescription medications at treating fibromyalgia.
The researchers concluded that electroacupuncture could be considered as a complementary treatment option for fibromyalgia patients. However, there were some limitations to their research. They only studied two groups of women: one group received medication and another group received both medication and electroacupuncture.
The second group had better outcomes than the first. The researchers believe this may be because the electroacupuncture helped relieve the participants’ depression. Depression often causes chronic pain.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Evidence found similar results. Researchers reviewed 30 studies involving 1,857 subjects. All of the participants suffered from chronic pain. Some were treated with medication alone, while others were given medication plus electroacupuncture.
Look for an Acupuncturist in Your Area
If you are in pain and are planning to use the healing powers of acupuncture, look for a qualified practitioner near you. Acupuncturists are often trained to use special treatment methods including electroacupuncture. These specialized treatments are designed to treat specific conditions such as arthritis, migraines, autoimmune conditions, or even more general health issues like stress management.
Since so many people deal with chronic pain, most acupuncturists treat it but don’t necessarily have additional specialized training. If you have any questions about electroacupuncture, ask your doctor or acupuncturist for advice.