Pain can be either chronic or acute. Acupuncture can help with pain management and speed up the healing process; however, the treatments plans and goals can be quite different.
Acute pain is described as pain that occurs due to injury or overuse. Acute pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. When you twist your ankle, your body sends pain signals to your brain that an injury has occurred. This warning mechanism is actually there to help protect your body from further injury. Whether you have accidentally been injured or you have injured yourself from overuse, pain can occur.
Sometimes the acupuncture points are far from the spot of your actual pain. Many people who have not been exposed to acupuncture get confused when the acupuncturist begins inserting needles in a different spot than their injury.
The acupuncturist will insert hair thin needles in the acupuncture location. When the correct depth is obtained, you may feel sensations of heaviness, warmth or tingling. Once the needles are in place, the acupuncturist may stimulate the needles either manually or with other techniques to engage the body’s own healing mechanism which will restore the body’s energy balance. Most patients feel immediate relief after acupuncture; however, several treatments may be needed to ensure inflammation has gone down and healing has taken place. It is essential that you follow the guidance from your acupuncturist on the number of treatments needed.
Chronic pain is continuous ongoing pain that is complicated to treat. Chronic pain is often caused by a neurological condition where the body’s warning system does not function properly. Instead, the brain thinks that the body is continually injured.
Endorphins are released during acupuncture. These endorphins are chemicals sent from the brain to areas throughout the body that is experiencing pain. Acupuncturists seek to reset the body’s warning system. In order for this technique to work, patients will need to have multiple treatments for several months; however, over time, most patients do find relief from chronic pain.
The techniques for chronic pain are similar to those for acute pain; however, most chronic pain affects numerous areas in the body. Therefore, needle placements may change throughout the treatment course as the patient experiences relief and treatment progresses.
Whether your pain is acute or chronic, acupuncture can help relieve your pain, decrease inflammation, and speed up the healing process. During each session, your acupuncturist will ask questions to help determine the type of pain and the severity of your pain. After the interview, the acupuncturist will begin administering acupuncture based on your answer. Soon, you will be feeling relief from your pain.