Although there are many pain-relieving treatments available, pain itself is an indication that there is a problem within the body. Many pain remedies simply mask symptoms with the hope that the body will heal itself. Acupuncture decreases pain levels while encouraging the body’s own healing response. Acupuncture reduces pain by

  1. relaxing muscles to ease spasms
  2. reduce inflammation and swelling
  3. increasing circulation and
  4. raising endorphin levels to lessen the nervous system’s pain response.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Treating musculoskeletal pain is the forte of acupuncture. Pain is caused by several factors including:

  • Inflammation
  • Reduced or increased blood flow
  • Muscle spasm or tightness

None of these, however, causes the sensation of pain. Signals must be sent from the affected area to the brain’s pain centers. Acupuncture works on all of these factors by:

  • Clearing the heat of inflammation. The heat conducting needles “draw out” heat to reduce inflammation.
  • Regulating blood flow both locally and peripherally through vasoconstriction and dilation.
  • Strongly relaxing muscles by resetting ion potentials across the muscle membranes. This muscle relaxant quality is stronger and works faster than almost any other modality because the ion changes happen immediately.
  • Releasing endorphins and reducing blood flow to certain brain centers related to pain, both of which reduce the perception and experience of pain.

It should be noted that the strong anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant qualities of acupuncture can not be attained using needleless techniques like laser, non-invasive electro stimulation, acupressure, or other non-invasive techniques often used by lesser trained practioners.

Chinese Herbal Medicine can also help pain by:

  • Nourishing the blood & Increasing blood flow
  • Clearing the heat of inflammation
  • Relaxing the muscles
  • Calming the spirit

Working in a chiropractic setting for 2 ½ years, I gained valuable experience treating all types of musculoskeletal pain including low back, midback, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist (including carpal tunnel), hand, hip, knee, ankle, and foot (including bone spurs and plantar fascitis). Your treatment will be based on TCM pattern diagnosis. In almost all cases, pain level is reduced after 1-3 treatments. There is some diminishing return with structural changes in the body like joint disease, bone degeneration or structural abnormalities, but even in these cases, pain can usually be reduced and further degeneration can be slowed or stopped.