The New York Times recently reported on the results of a study financed by the United States National Institutes for Health on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a method of providing relief for chronic pain. The results, in summary, suggest that acupuncture does provide real relief from pain beyond what would be expected from the placebo effect.
By compiling the results of some of the better studies, researchers found that acupuncture outperformed both sham treatments and standard care for patients suffering from osteoarthritis, migraines and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain. The method of standard care included over the counter medications. Sham care included a superficial type of acupuncture in which needles were placed on the skin without penetrating the dermis.
The study concluded that roughly half of people who underwent legitimate acupuncture treatment received some kind of relief from chronic pain as opposed to 30 percent of patients who did not. This suggests that acupuncture is a legitimate form of pain management when performed by a skilled and experienced practitioner. Chronic pain of any type that includes headaches can benefit from interventions such as acupuncture to break the pain cycle and reset the nervous system, in essence re-balancing it to work optimally.
Acupuncture is one of the widely used modalities of alternative medicine in the world and dates back to ancient China. Most people who undergo the procedure are attempting to deal with some kind of chronic pain. At Beyond Chiropractic, our Toronto chiropractor has been practicing acupuncture for over 10 years, and has had great success with it for chronic pain, repetitive strain injuries, and nerve entrapments, just to name a few conditions. For more information, feel free to contact us.