Have Chronic Pain?

by Hon Lee on July 10, 2019

There are 100 million Americans experiencing chronic pain, of which 25 million have chronic pain syndrome. While pain is a perfectly normal reaction to certain events, when it persists for over 12 weeks and additional debilitating symptoms arise, the condition is pathological and treated as chronic.

Chronic pain syndrome is not just a longstanding battle with pain. Over time, the constant discomfort and progressive disability take a mental and emotional toll and may cause anxiety, depression, sleeping issues, guilt, fatigue, thoughts of suicide, or substance abuse.

Typically, pain starts after a traumatic event, injury, surgery, or during a chronic illness such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer, or irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes the cause of chronic pain is a mystery. The risk for developing chronic pain increases if you are a female over the age of 65, smoke, or already have a painful condition such as osteoarthritis.

According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine theory, pain is caused by the stagnation of Qiblood, or both. When Qi, the most basic unit of energy found in all living beings, is dormant, pain moves around and can feel like a distending, dull or cramping sensation. Sluggish blood is more visible, such as when bruising occurs on the skin and the pain felt is fixed, sharp or stabbing. 

Once the type and severity of pain are assessed, a treatment plan will be developed. Acupuncture coordinates the entire body to restore the balance between opposing forces on a physical, mental and emotional level. Even complex cases that include a combination of chronic headaches, insomnia, and mood swings are addressed in a single, eloquent treatment plan.

Study Confirms Acupuncture Effective for Chronic Pain

In May of 2018, The Journal of Pain published a study called "Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis." This large-scale project analyzed 39 scientific trials with 20,827 study participants. Researchers narrowed their focus to the patient's pain levels and their ability to physically function. They also put great importance on the effect of acupuncture to produce results after the conclusion of treatment.

Researchers discovered that real acupuncture treatments showed significant results in the reduction of chronic pain, when compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment at all. Additionally, these outstanding results lasted for 1 year after the therapy ended and could not be attributed to the placebo effect. There was only a 15% reduction in its ability to alleviate pain, leading researchers to conclude that acupuncture is a viable, effective therapy to treat different kinds of chronic pain including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the head. 

Source: Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, Sherman KJ, Irnich D, Witt CM, Linde K; Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration. (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Journal of Pain, 19(5):455-474. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Dec 2. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29198932

Hon K. Lee is a Licensed Acupuncturist in Herndon, VA., and the founder of Sports Edge Acupuncture Clinic. He is also an author, teacher, martial arts instructor, qigong practitioner and a U.S. Marine combat veteran. Proceeds from the sale of his memoirs go to charities that benefit wounded warriors and their families.

Hon Lee – who has written posts on Acupuncture Herndon, VA.


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Sports Edge Acupuncture Clinic
1033 Sterling Rd #105, Herndon, VA 20170
Phone: 571-306-0533
 

 

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