Acupuncture is a great way to treat pain.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has sponsored a large amount of acupuncture research.  Studies on acupuncture are showing that it can help alleviate many kinds of pain.  Acupuncture has been used to treat pain for thousands of years.  It is one of the oldest healing practices in the world.  The 2007 National Health Interview Survey reports that 1.4 percent of American respondents (around 3.1 million Americans) had used acupuncture in the last year.  Pain accounts for 7 of the top 10 conditions treated with acupuncture, back pain being the most common.  Joint and neck pain, headaches/migraines, and recurring pain followed shortly behind on the list.

Acupuncture for Back Pain

The American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians announced in 2007 that acupuncture is one of the alternative medicine therapies that physicians should consider for patients with chronic low-back pain.  Studies have shown that combining acupuncture with conventional treatment options was more effective in relieving pain than conventional treatment alone.

Acupuncture for Joint and Knee Pain

Acupuncture has been found to relieve pain and improve function for people with osteoarthritis.  Reviews have also found acupuncture to be a promising option for providing pain relief for lateral epicondyle pain associated with tennis elbow.  Positive results have also been seen in treating arm and shoulder pain as well as pelvic and back pain related to pregnancy.

Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The National Institute for Health stated in 1997 that acupuncture is a promising treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.  For those with an intolerance for medication or opt out of early surgery, acupuncture is a great alternative to treat the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acupuncture for Pain After Dental Surgery

Evidence based reviews have identified acupuncture as a good alternative for treating dental pain.  A 1999 study of 39 dental surgery patients said that acupuncture was superior to simulated acupuncture (a placebo) in regard to post-operative pain.  In 2005, another study with a larger group of 200 dental surgery patients reported that patients who believed they had gotten acupuncture had significantly less pain than those who believed they had gotten the placebo.

The Future of Acupuncture for Pain

Studies to further evaluate the use of acupuncture for pain treatment are being funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).  They aim to continue the understanding of the body’s response to acupuncture and how it can be used to treat pain.  Current studies include lower back pain, knee pain, dental pain, menstrual pain, pain associated with ovarian cancer, as well as pain from repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorder.  Research is also being done to study brain activity during acupuncture for people suffering from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis.

The use of acupuncture for pain is growing with each new study showing the many benefits for pain therapy. Contact Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine today for a consultation.