Acupuncture treatment is a common holistic technique that has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions. A form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture has gained popularity in Western cultures for good reason.
Not only has this technique been studied and practiced for more than 2,500 years, acupuncture has been shown to help ease back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, postoperative pain, and more. As the opioid epidemic continues to grow in the United States, people are looking for natural solutions that are both safe and effective.
If you are experiencing pain after surgery (80 percent of surgical patients experience postoperative pain of some kind), you may be considering alternative measures like acupuncture treatment.
What is Acupuncture?
Before we go over the benefits of acupuncture treatment for postoperative pain, let’s talk about what it is, exactly.
Acupuncture is a technique where trained practitioners insert thin needles into the skin to stimulate certain points on the body. There are hundreds of points along the body’s 12 major anatomical meridians or channels, all of which are connected to different organs, tissues, muscles, and systems. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this form of TCM is the needles typically are not inserted into the area of the body that is in pain.
Let’s say you are experiencing pain in the low back after surgery. If you go in for an acupuncture treatment, the practitioner will place needles along the upper leg and upper arm to provide pain relief, as this is where the acupuncture points are located for the lower back.
Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment
Demand is on the rise for holistic medicine treatments like acupuncture in the United States. In fact, studies have shown that more than 14 million Americans have tried acupuncture for pain relief.
Here are some of the top benefits of acupuncture treatment in general:
- Boosts the immune system (important for post-surgical hospital stays)
- Minimizes the side effects of anesthesia and other medications used during surgery
- Reduces internal and external scarring
- Reduces stress
- Provides relief from headaches and migraines
- Enhances mental clarity
- Increases energy
- Relieves joint pain
- Reduces neck tension and back pain
How Acupuncture Treatment Can Help with Pain
To help explain the role of acupuncture, let’s look at an example. You have undergone surgery for pain and problems related to facet joint syndrome, but you are still experiencing discomfort. Not only is this frustrating, but you may be scratching your head wondering what to do next. Although the goal of the surgery is to stabilize the spine, increase mobility, and relieve any pain, it is not uncommon for a patient to experience postoperative pain after a successful procedure.
Acupuncture treatment works by encouraging specific spots in the body to release – or unblock – the flow of energy along meridians throughout the body. For those suffering from postoperative pain, finding a solution that will reduce pain without taking medications is often a challenge.
As we continue to learn about acupuncture treatment in the medical and surgical communities, we are excited to offer patients holistic solutions that are safe and virtually risk-free. Acupuncture and other natural methods can complement your unique pain management plan following surgery. To learn more about the benefits of acupuncture or what conditions it can treat, please contact orthopedic clinic today to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic doctor or specialist.