Acupuncture is a healthcare practice that dates back thousands of years to ancient China. For millennia it has been used in many parts of Asia for a variety of medical purposes but has only become accepted by the Western world relatively recently. At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physiatrists, who specialize in pain relief and restoration of function, have been successfully administering acupuncture for many years.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that involves inserting hair-thin needles at specific points on the body to allow the free flow of energy, “Qi” (pronounced “chee”), throughout the body. The practice is based on the belief that when blockages interrupt the flow of Qi they result in illness and pain, and that once the blocked pathways are opened, healing takes place.
Once viewed by Western medicine as based on magical thinking, acupuncture is now prescribed and/or administered by many physiatrists and integrated as a treatment method by orthopedic surgeons and neurologists worldwide.
Much research has confirmed the efficacy of acupuncture in treating various types of pain, in many cases where other therapies have failed. Now acupuncture is confirmed as an effective treatment by such esteemed medical organizations as the American College of Physicians, the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
How Acupuncture Is Administered
Acupuncture involves inserting needles so thin that they remove no tissue when extracted into specifically charted points on the body. They are inserted where they will be most helpful in targeting your particular pain, though those locations are not necessarily near the affected area. Acupuncture is a virtually painless process. During the approximately 20 minutes the needles are left in place, many of our patients are so relaxed they fall asleep.
What Kinds of Pain Does Acupuncture Treat
Acupuncture has proven effective in relieving multiple kinds of both acute and chronic pain, including pain caused by:
- Neuromuscular injury
- Sciatica and other back or neck pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Menstrual cramps
- Postoperative pain
- Tennis elbow
- Torn ligaments
- Myofascial pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
In addition to lessening pain by prompting the body to produce endorphins, acupuncture has also been shown to speed healing by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow.
How Many Sessions of Acupuncture Are Typically Needed?
While the number of acupuncture sessions it takes to relieve pain is variable, depending on the type and severity of the injury or illness as well as on the individual patient, our doctors find that 12 sessions are usually necessary for best results. Nonetheless, some patients experience relief after a single treatment. In general, chronic conditions take longer to resolve than acute injuries.
Why LI Spine Rehabilitation Medicine Is the Place to Come for Acupuncture
From the outset, our practice has been holistic, offering a broad spectrum of nonsurgical treatments. Not only are our doctors familiar with acupuncture, we have gone through advanced training in acupuncture and other types of complementary medicine at Harvard Medical School.
We are skilled in several types of acupuncture and have extensive experience administering each. We celebrate the fact that in many instances acupuncture works well for patients whose back or other musculoskeletal pain has been unresponsive to other treatments, including oral medications, targeted injections, physical therapy, and, in some cases, even surgical procedures.
We are physicians with well-deserved reputations as excellent diagnosticians and have the medical background necessary to understand the interactions between your present symptoms and any past injuries or pre-existing conditions. We are equipped to administer acupuncture in combination with other treatments to provide you with the best in comprehensive care.
Contact Our Accomplished Acupuncture Specialists Today
Living with pain and looking for a solution? Get in touch with our team of pain management doctors now. If you have been disappointed with pain relief therapies before, it may be time to target your pain in a new, albeit ancient way. Contact us now to discuss why acupuncture may finally be the right treatment for you.