Acupuncture for chronic pain relief
Pain that lasts longer than six months is chronic pain. Chronic pain can be mild or severe, episodic or continuous. Pain signals constantly stimulate nervous system for months or years. This can make great impact on a person’s physically and emotionally. The most common chronic pain is from headaches, joint pain, back pain, shoulder pain, pelvic pain, neck pain and pain from any injuries. The symptoms of chronic pain mainly are pain from mild to severe that does not go away. It can be shooting, burning, aching or electrical; or feeling discomfort, soreness, tightness or stiffness.
Chronic pain is closely related to emotions. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger and fatigue make the pain worse. These negative feelings may increase the level of substances that amplify sensations of pain, causing a vicious cycle of pain. The pain can suppress the immune system causing other symptoms.
Apart from the pain, there could be other symptoms including fatigue, sleeplessness, frequently having cold, changes in mood such as depression irritated anxiety and stress. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and energy.
Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision. Finding tender points can help locate the source of the pain.
Acupuncture is an effective treatment method for chronic pain. Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine, it becomes popular worldwide. In the UK it is used in many NHS general practices, as well as the majority of pain clinics and hospices. The application of acupuncture in Western medicine is based on proper medical diagnosis and scientific evidence. The theory is that acupuncture can stimulate nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue. This results in the body producing pain-relieving substances, such as endorphins. It is likely these substances are responsible for any beneficial effects seen with acupuncture.
Acupuncture is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as a treatment option for chronic lower back pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. This recommendation by NICE is on the basis of scientific evidence. Acupuncture treatment for neck pain is also recognised as effective one.