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Pain

Over 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain. 1 in 3 people lose 20 hours of sleep per month due to pain. Although the quality, intensity, duration, and localization of pain is different for each individual, there are a few basic causes for most pain conditions:

Structural Imbalance: Scoliosis, uneven shoulder height, twisted hip girdle, tumors, or herniated disks can cause muscle tension or nerve pinching, and lead to pain.

Chronic Inflammation: Many factors such as inappropriate diet, blood sugar imbalance, lack of or incorrect exercise, repetitive stress (e.g. excessive computer work), and environmental pollution or toxins contribute to inflammation. Some patients even have an auto-immune condition in which pain is the main symptom. When a body’s tissues are inflamed, pain soon follows.

Stress: Sets off the body’s inflammatory cascade (see above), induces chronic muscle tension, and decreases one’s pain threshold.  That means that the same level of pain actually feels more intense when one is in a stressed state, compared to when relaxed. 

swimmerConventional treatments include pain medications, oral and injected steroids, antidepressants, physical therapy, and surgery. Some of these medications carry a significant risk of addiction, and others have strong side effects or are ineffective in the long-run.

Acupuncture is one of the most effective and non-invasive treatment modalities for addressing pain, and it is also among the best-documented complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies in the scientific literature.

A 2011 meta-analysis of CAM therapies showed that acupuncture was significantly more effective at relieving pain as compared to placebo, physical therapy, or usual care (1). Studies also suggest that acupuncture can be more effective than conventional therapies for post-cecarean pain (2); patients who received acupuncture for their low back pain were less likely to seek physician services for the low back pain than those patients who had not received acupuncture (3); acupuncture treatment significantly improved all measurable outcomes in patients who had migraine, episodic, and chronic tension-type headaches (4)… The studies go on and on. 

Pain and its associated health problems are among the top three reasons for patients seeking care at OHS. We address pain in a comprehensive manner.

The unique Acupuncture style practiced at OHS is a gentle yet powerful technique, based on palpation and instant patient feedback. Often, patients experience pain relief during treatment that is both significant and long-lasting. Acupuncture treatments also help to regulate the immune system, promote healthy circulation patterns, and decrease the stress response, all of which help to address pain at the root level.

We provide Dietary Counseling to give your unique constitution a nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory diet.

If needed, we use Herbal and Nutritional Supplementation to further decrease inflammation, via improved fundamental biological processes such as blood sugar regulation, hormonal balance, and immune system and organ system function.

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) assist patients with fibromyalgia and other pain related problems.

A combination of the above therapies expedites results. When applied appropriately, patients experience rapid and lasting improvements that significantly improve their quality of life.

References

1. Frulan AD, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and safety of selected complementary and alternative medicine for neck and low-back pain. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:953139. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

2. Xu J, and Mackenzie IZ. The current use of acupuncture during pregnancy and childbirth. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Jan 13.

3. Moritz S et al. Reduced health resource use after acupuncture for low-back pain. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Nov;17(11):1015-9. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

4. Melchart D et al. Acupuncture for chronic headaches—an epidemiological study. Headache. 2006 Apr;46(4):632-41.

5. Mannheimer et al. Meta-analysis: acupuncture for low back pain. Ann Intern Med 2005;142:651

6. Molsberger AF et al. Does acupuncture improve the orthopedic management of chronic low back pain? – A randomized, blinded, controlled trial with 3 months follow-up. Pain 2002;99:579-587

7. Berman BM et al. Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Knee. A randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2004;141:901-910
8. Hsieh LL et al. Treatment of low back pain by acupressure and physical therapy: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2006;332:696

9. Carlsson C, Sjölund B. Acupuncture for chronic low back pain: a randomized placebo-controlled study with long-term follow-up. Clinic J Pain; 2001;17(4): 296-305.

10. Vickers AJ et al. Acupuncture of chronic headache disorders in primary care: randomised controlled trial and economic analysis. Health Technol Assess 2004;294:2118

11. Witt C et al. Acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet 2005;366:136

12. Vas J et al. Acupuncture as a complementary therapy to the pharmacological treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: randomized controlled trial. BMJ 2004;329:1216

13. Sprott H, Franke S, Kluge H, et al. Pain treatment of fibromyalgia by acupuncture. Rheumatol Int 1998;18(1):35-6.

14. Assefi NP, Sherman KJ, Jacobsen C, et al. A randomized clinical trial of acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture in fibromyalgia. Ann Intern Med July 5, 2005;143(1):10-9.

15. Berman BM, Swyers JP, Ezzo J. The evidence for acupuncture as a treatment for rheumatologic conditions. Rheum Dis Clin North Am Feb 2000;26(1):103-15, ix-x. 

16. Ho KY, Jones L, Gan TJ. The effect of cultural background on the usage of complementary and alternative medicine for chronic pain management. Pain Physician. 2009 May-Jun;12(3):685-8. (2009)

17. Sun Y, Gan TJ, Dubose JW, Habib AS. Acupuncture and related techniques for postoperative pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Br J Anaesth. 2008 Aug;101(2):151-60. (2008)

18. EFT Studies: http://www.orientalhealthsolutions.com/information/eft-hypnosis-faq

Other relevant studies:

Kwan CL, et al. Abnormal forebrain activity in functional bowel disorder patients with chronic pain:  Neurology 2005 Oct 25;65(8):1268-77