Acupuncture for Pain Management: Alternative Chronic Pain Treatments
Despite the latest health crisis, the market for pain management acupuncture is still predicted to hit $55,323.8 million by 2023. For some chronic pain sufferers, acupuncture is one of the only treatments that they can afford during these trying times.
But here’s the thing, alternative pain management for people with injuries might be able to save them both time and money in the long run. Yes, you read that right!
To chronic pain sufferers who cannot take prescription pain meds: read this guide. Learn more about acupuncture for pain management offered here!
Relieving Pain With Acupuncture
In the middle of the current opioid crisis, it’s no wonder acupuncture has become more popular than ever as an opioid alternative in the US. As a matter of fact, this ancient form of Chinese medicine has historically been used for pain management for centuries.
Fun fact – acupuncture is even supported by Medicaid and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
Even though there’s still more research to be done, acupuncture has been reported to be useful for managing pain condition such as:
- Chronic back pain
- Chronic neck pain
- Chronic osteoarthritis pain
- Chronic headaches
But that’s not all. Acupuncture is also a practical alternative for those who think that modern medicine is falling short.
Here’s the breakdown.
According to ancient practices, acupuncture triggers specific parts of your body to release your qi, or energy. This energy flows through your body’s meridians. By stimulating your nerves with needles, a signal is sent to your brain which releases beta-endorphins.
As a result, your pain threshold is typically lowered by stimulating your body’s opioids with these feel-good chemicals. Since pain is linked to inflammation, acupuncture may also stimulate your vagus nerve. This can reduce inflammation in your body.
Several states are trying to cut down on opioids by including acupuncture as another pain treatment option too. This includes forward-thinking states such as:
- Rhode Island
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg…
Acupuncture and Neurologic Injuries
Believe it or not, acupuncture may be able to help patients with neurological injuries as well. For example, if you have a spinal cord injury, getting acupuncture can reduce your need for surgery and help you recover faster too.
Even though research is limited, a recent study showed that people with spinal cord injuries regained motor functioning too. With this promising evidence in mind, getting acupuncture for pain relief and nerve damage is a great alternative for those who don’t have many other options left.
Sick and tired of dealing with “hard-to-treat pain?”
For patients with chronic pain from fibromyalgia, combining cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation with acupuncture has also proven to be effective. How can you possibly beat that?
What to Expect During Acupuncture
Before you dive into your first acupuncture appointment, you might be wondering what you should expect. Allow us to enlighten you.
Besides asking about your personal health history, your acupuncturist will sit down with you to inspect your tongue’s coating, color, and shape. Next, they will take your pulse and possibly perform a physical exam depending on your health needs.
After taking your vitals in this unique way, your acupuncturist will usually recommend a treatment plan to help you manage your pain properly. To get started, your acupuncturist will ask you to lay down comfortably on a table while “acupoints” are triggered throughout certain parts of your body.
The best part is that most patients feel only minimal discomfort as these tiny needles are being placed. Following about a half-hour of treatment, these small needles will be removed, leaving you in an extremely relaxed state of mind.
But how many acupuncture for pain management treatments will you need, exactly?
While it differs from patient to patient, some may experience intense pain relief after only receiving one treatment. On the other hand, those with long-standing or complex chronic pain should receive anywhere between one and two treatments each week for a few months at a time.
However, if your pain management problems aren’t as serious as other patients, it should only take a handful of visits to get the job done. This includes up to 10 treatments in total. But have no fear – your personal treatment plan will include how many visits you need at the start of your first visit!
Conditions Treated by Acupuncture
We’ve already discussed how acupuncture can be used to treat both neck and back pain, but did you know that it can also help infertility, insomnia, depression, anxiety, migraines, and nausea?
Besides this, acupuncture for pain management can treat everything from allergic rhinitis, biliary colic, dysentery, and dysmenorrhea as well. Not to mention epigastralgia, facial pain, hypertension, and hypotension can be resolved with acupuncture too.
Also, acupuncture can reduce labor pain, knee pain, leukopenia, and lower back pain. Plus, morning sickness, vomiting, dental pain, and shoulder periarthritis can be brought to a minimum with acupuncture treatments.
The same holds true for correcting fetal positioning, postoperative pain, renal colic, rheumatoid arthritis, and sciatica. Even patients dealing with a sprain, stroke, or tennis elbow may find relief from acupuncture treatments.
But how can you find the right acupuncturist for you?
Choosing the Right Acupuncturist
Here’s the hardest part: choosing the perfect acupuncture for your pain relief management plan. Fortunately for you, we’ve helped you to make this process easy by creating a helpful list of tips and tricks.
For example, it pays to make sure that your acupuncturist has been licensed at the state level. So, if you live in Kentucky, your acupuncturist should receive a license from the State of Kentucky Acupuncture Board. Besides this, it is extremely helpful if your acupuncturist of choice has years of experience in the clinical field as well.
When all else fails, booking an appointment at the closest location to you is the best way to discover the best acupuncturist for yourself.
At this point in the process, you might be wondering how much acupuncture actually costs, right? We are glad that you asked.
For the more fortunate patients, acupuncture treatment should be covered by their health insurance plans. However, that’s not the case for everyone. But if this is true for you, your insurance company will be billed for your acupuncture services, leaving you responsible for only paying the small copayment is required.
If your plan doesn’t cover your acupuncture expenses, though, you might still be able to pay out-of-pocket for these services too. Typically, checks, cash, and all credit cards will be accepted by your acupuncture practitioner as well.
Pro tip: you may be able to receive “community-style acupuncture” for a fraction of the cost!
Tips for Your First Appointment
To make the most of your first acupuncture treatment, make sure that you come prepared for your initial session. In case you didn’t know, the best way to start is to make a list of all the health conditions that you would like to treat, including:
- Current symptoms
- Major life stressors
- A summary of past life events
- Health challenges
- Supplements and medications that you’re taking
Since acupuncture is a holistic treatment, your acupuncturist will most likely want to know everything going on in your life in addition to the symptoms that brought you in the first place. Plus, prepare to receive a prescription for an herbal remedy too.
Warning – similar to taking medications, different kinds of herbal remedies may react differently with supplements and medications. That means that some herbal remedies might not be appropriate for certain health conditions.
Moving forward, dressing comfortably will help your acupuncturist easily reach acupuncture points on your body. That’s because uncomfortable or tight clothes can shut off or even block your flow of energy. So, wearing loose clothing can help you feel more relaxed in the long run.
Last but not least, eat clean before you receive your first acupuncture treatment. While it is essential to fuel your body for the healing process, having a heavy meal right beforehand will only weigh your body down.
Do your best to eat light food such as rice and veggies instead. Also, cut down the amount of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat that you consume for several hours before and after you receive your first treatment. Simple as that!
Ask About Acupuncture for Pain Management
Ready to receive your first acupuncture for pain management treatment?
If that’s the case, then we are here to help you out. Luckily for you, we’ve got everything you need to manage pain easily.
Don’t hesitate – book an appointment with our team of experts today!