How Acupuncture Can Relieve Chronic Pain

Chronic pain of some sort affects at least 20% of Americans, and 8% have bad enough chronic pain to impair their ability to function normally. This means upward of 70 million people suffer every day with some degree of chronic pain. 

Managing it is a tricky process because many things contribute to chronic pain, and what works for one person may not work for someone else. If you’re having problems controlling chronic pain, now may be the time to try acupuncture.

At Arsenio Medical, we’re proud to have certified acupuncturist Sam Yee, MD, as a key member of our medical team. Together, our doctors have years of experience helping people manage pain, and they can help you determine if acupuncture is right for you.

Understanding acupuncture

Going as far back as 2,500 years, acupuncture has been used in China to help alleviate pain. The traditional method uses thin needles inserted in specific areas of the body to control energy called qi (chi). In western terms, acupuncture uses key points to stimulate nerves and muscles to relieve different types of pain. 

Acupuncture practitioners use it to treat a wide variety of ailments, including:

How acupuncture works

Acupuncture is an outpatient procedure that done properly is painless, or nearly so. In most treatments, Dr. Yee inserts anywhere from five to 20 thin needles into specific points of your body, varying based on your specific needs. To apply heat or minor pulses, he may twirl the needles in place.

A single session can take up to an hour, though follow-up treatments will likely take half that time. Expect the needles to stay in place for 10-20 minutes as you relax. You shouldn’t feel anything as the needles are removed.

What results to expect

People tend to react in different ways to acupuncture once the process is over. Some are energized, while others are relaxed. If you feel overly relaxed, have someone help you get home and relax for a few days. 

You may experience minor soreness or bruising at the puncture sites, but often there are no side effects. Multiple treatments are typical (six to eight treatments to address a single pain problem), and the number of treatments depends on your level of chronic pain and discomfort. 

And acupuncture can work in conjunction with other pain treatments. If you think acupuncture may be right for you, call us at Arsenio Medical today or request an appointment using our online tool.

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