Chronic pain in the muscles and joints can make life miserable. Standard treatments, such as ice and heat, anti-inflammatory medications, physiotherapy, and proper exercises can often relieve pain. But when they do not, acupuncture is an option with a good track record that is worth considering.
Over the years there has been a substantial debate about whether acupuncture really works for chronic pain. Research by an international team of experts adds to the evidence that it provides real relief from common forms of pain. The team grouped the results of 29 studies with almost 18,000 participants. Some had acupuncture, others had “sham” acupuncture and others had no acupuncture. In general, the best acupuncture in Minneapolis alleviated pain by approximately 50%. The results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study is not the last word on the subject, but it is one of the best quality studies to date and has left an impression.
“I think the benefit of acupuncture is clear, and the complications and possible adverse effects of acupuncture are low compared to medications,” says Dr. Moe, board-certified anesthesiologist, pain medicine specialist and acupuncturist at Harvard Affiliated to the General Hospital of Minnesota.
How does it work?
Acupuncturists insert fine needles into the skin at specific points around the body. It is practically painless when done by an experienced professional. It is believed that the insertion of the needles corrects imbalances in the flow of energy in the body, called qi (pronounced “chee”). As I write in the April issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, in Western scientific terms it is thought that acupuncture relieves pain by affecting neurotransmitters, hormone levels or the immune system.
For the new pain, an acupuncturist should not always be your first stop. Dr. Moe recommends that people have clear diagnoses of what causes pain to rule out serious medical conditions that should be treated immediately, and then seek acupuncture if appropriate.
How often is acupuncture needed?
Plan weekly treatments until you begin to see a benefit, then gradually increase the time until the next visit.
Acupuncture treatments vary from $ 65 to $ 125 per session. Private insurers usually pay it, neither Medicare nor Medicaid. Some plans can cover the cost of a doctor-acupuncturist.
Who administers it?
Ideally a reliable and certified provider. , You can find a trained acupuncturist at the Moe Bodyworks for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.