Are you one of the many people who have fibromyalgia, back pains, or other chronic musculoskeletal problems? Have you tried treating the pain with the usual steps such as exercise and anti-inflammatories, only to see no noticeable difference? Perhaps you might want to consider acupuncture as a pain reliever.
Acupuncture has been a well known form of pain relief for the Chinese for thousands of years. Needles are inserted into the skin in specific areas of the body to help relieve the pain. By finding the right pressure points, the pain can be reduced and even eliminated. The results that are accomplished through the use of acupuncture are felt within a few minutes.
Generally, treatments are given once a week for approximately 20 minutes. Surprising to some is the fact that many insurance companies cover acupuncture as a form of treatment. If your insurance company doesn’t cover the costs, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $150 for each session.
What are the risks associated with acupuncture? While the risks of any problems are quite low, there is a chance, although extremely rare, of developing an infection from the needles. Other minor possible risks include being bruised and slight bleeding at the spot where the needles are inserted.
All states in the U.S. have licensing requirements for any doctor who is trained in acupuncture. For example, the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is where medical doctors are trained and licensed.
The use of acupuncture in treating patients who suffer from chronic pain has gone through numerous studies over the years. Many of these studies used acupuncture along with another therapy that only simulated acupuncture.
These studies have shown that the real acupuncture therapy showed better results in reducing pain and providing increased function than the simulated form. Oddly, one such study performed by the national Institutes of Health showed that both the real and simulated acupuncture worked well.
Experts believe that these results were triggered by physiological effects. More research and studies are ongoing to try and discover why the simulated method worked as well as it did.
Doctors everywhere are in agreement though, and that is that acupuncture works extremely well in treating and improving chronic musculoskeletal pain. In treating health problems such as osteoarthritis, acupuncture is becoming more commonly recommended. If you suffer from chronic pain you may want to further explore this form of therapy with your doctor or health care provider.