Chronic pain affects your whole life.
Whether it’s neck or back pain, migraines, arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve pain or anything else, chronic pain can create anxiety and depression, insomnia and has a huge impact on your ability to do “normal” things. Dealing with the pain itself is exhausting mentally, emotionally and physically. And since it’s not usually visible to others, your family, friends and coworkers may have a hard time understanding why you aren’t your usual self.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chronic pain is any pain anywhere in your body that lasts for more than three months, whether it comes and goes or is constant. If you suffer from chronic pain, you aren’t alone. Statistics show about 25% of American adults experience chronic pain.
Sometimes the cause is obvious, like an accident or injury. In other cases it isn’t so obvious. Did you know chronic stress, anxiety and depression are related to chronic pain due to suspected endorphin imbalance? In some cases, like fibromyalgia, it’s believed the brain changes to become more sensitized to pain, possibly due to chronic viral infection like Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), and potentially, long-Covid.
While Western medicine has pharmaceutical options to treat chronic pain, they can come with a lot of side-effects with long-term use, like with opioids or corticosteroids. Even NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen are problematic for the gut and liver when used daily. Often, these don’t totally reduce the pain. More concerning, they rarely treat the problem.
So where does that leave you?
A meta-analysis study, published in 2017 in The Journal of Pain, that reviewed years of studies on the efficacy of acupuncture in treating musculoskeletal pain, headaches and osteoarthritis pain found that not only was acupuncture effective in relieving pain, but that the effects of acupuncture persist over time…meaning the results last!
Acupuncture treats the whole person, both the symptoms and the underlying causes of the pain.
Whether it’s an injury, anxiety, a chronic viral condition like EBV, hormone imbalance underlying migraines or just wear and tear with osteoarthritis, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has centuries of experience in treating pain AND the root cause.
Massage therapy is another natural way to treat and manage pain, especially when it’s musculoskeletal pain.
A review of studies found that massage is effective at treating chronic low back pain, as well as shoulder pain and headaches stemming from neck tension, and can be helpful in treating other chronic pain symptoms. Researchers believe massage may relieve pain in several ways, including “…relaxing painful muscles; relieving stress and anxiety; and possibly helping to “close the pain gate” by stimulating competing nerve fibers…”
We recommend you book a free 15 minute telemedicine consult with Dr. Jennie to determine which combination of therapies will help you the most, and fastest. You’ll usually feel better after your first visit, and after weekly treatments for several weeks, you’ll start to feel better all around, without side effects.
For personalized support with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, or for your free 15-minute initial telemedicine consult, from the comfort of your home or office, book an appointment with Dr. Jennie.
Dr. Jennie Luther, DACM, L.Ac
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness