Acupuncture can be used in treatment of various health complications, neuralgia included. However, its use for neuralgia has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include its effectiveness, safety and ease of use. The disadvantages are that the results can be quite inconsistent, it can be costly particularly where the patient has to travel hundreds of miles for treatment, it takes several treatments for results to be seen and it can be an uncomfortable and painful experience for some people.
What tools are used in the treatment?
Acupuncturist makes use of tens of very thin needles, which are generally referred to as filiform needles for treatment. These are inserted on specific points in the meridians. The points are believed to stimulate the body to achieve qi, or balance.
Qi which is pronounced as “chee” is the subtle energy which the acupuncturists believe flows through the body. Acupuncturists say that when this energy is out of balance, then the result is either disease or pain. The use of acupuncture is World Health Organization approved in treatment of a wide range of maladies and diseases. Neuralgia is one health complication that can be treated with this form of alternative medicine.
What is neuralgia?
Neuralgia is sharp pain that occurs on the nerves. The nerve pathway and the nerves themselves are affected by this condition, with the results being sharp pain on them all. The pain is caused by inflammation of the nerves or damage to their structure. Neuralgia is caused by a number of health complications, for instance infections, arthritis and many more; however, its exact cause remains unknown.
What are some of the advantages of using acupuncture to treat neuralgia?
1. Practically no side effects
Acupuncture has been proved to be effective when it comes to treatment of neuralgia, particular the common type referred to as trigeminal neuralgia. This form of neuralgia is named after the nerves it attacks, namely trigeminal nerves. These nerves run along the side of the head and around the cheek region of the face. Unlike the modern drugs or surgery that is used to treat this health complication, acupuncture for neuralgia has minimum risk involved and there are basically no side effects.
2. Takes little time for effects to be seen
When a patient uses acupuncture for treatment of neuralgia, it takes only a little time for the effects to be seen, normally around an hour at most. The treatment requires no recovery time like for a case of a surgery. Best of all, the patient doesn’t need to continuously take a medication afterwards.
Acupuncture is generally painless when it comes to neuralgia treatment. This means it can be tried on all types of patients, even those that are sensitive to pain or touch.
Disadvantages of using acupuncture to treat neuralgia
1. Can be quite expensive
Except in countries where acupuncture is commonly used to treat various types of health complications, maladies and diseases, it can be quite expensive. If more than one treatment session is required per week, then the costs can really add up to something significant.
2. If the nerve being treated is deep inside the body, then this form of treatment might not be effective.
The use of acupuncture to treat neuralgia is only effective for specific areas of the body. If however, the nerves being treated are deep inside the body and thus difficult to reach with the needle, then the treatment tends to be ineffective.
3. Relief is dependant on the level of pain being felt
Though it takes only one treatment for acupuncture effects to be felt, it sometimes does not provide a complete relief for neuralgia patients. This means that several sessions of treatment are required to make a difference in the way a patient feels. For patients in a lot of pain, this form of treatment is not the quickest solution.
4. Risk of an inexperienced practitioner accidentally hitting a nerve
Though there is generally no risk involved in this form of acupuncture, there is a slight risk of an inexperienced practitioner hitting a nerve and thus aggravating the already bad situation.
What types of needles are used in neuralgia treatment?
The needles used to treat neuralgia in acupuncture depend on which part of the body they are applied on. These needles come in a variety of sizes, diameters and sizes, based on the immediate purpose. The commonly used needles today are made of stainless steel and are thread-like. There are some which are made of gold or silver metal and are used on patients who would rather have these than the stainless varieties. Their diameters vary from .012 millimeters to .35 millimeters, while lengths range between 8 millimeters to seven centimeters.
Like earlier mentioned, the needles used for treatment of neuralgia depend on the part of the body they are employed, but the shorter varieties are generally used. To find out more, let us know your questions and we will be able to assist you.