Pain is a worldwide problem that many suffer with. Approximately one third of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. The most common types of pain are headache or migraine pain, neck pain and low back pain.
The two different types of pain are acute and chronic. Acute pain is the first sign of an injury and stops once the injury has healed. When pain continues after the injury has healed it is known as chronic pain which can last weeks to years. The cause of continued pain comes from active nerve signals that are possibly damaged and continue to relay to the brain that the body is in pain.
Pain can affect quality of life and sleep, which can often worsen pain and create a repetitive cycle.
Pain is the result of the central nervous system’s messages to the brain. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and nerves within the spine known as the spinal cord. When injury or illness occurs, the nerves that are connected to the spinal cord send these messages to the brain, resulting in the brain interpreting these messages as pain. When the brain receives these messages and determines that something is harming the body, it results by interpreting these messages and alerting the body by using pain. So, pain is the brain’s way to tell the body that something isn’t right. However, sometimes, like in the case of fibromyalgia, the brain interprets these messages incorrectly – alerting the body with pain when there is no injury or illness present.
Essentially, pain is a way to alert us that something is wrong. This is helpful in assisting us to know when to get medical attention or to rest up so that healing can occur. But, in the case of chronic pain patients, pain can negatively debilitate aspects of life – especially when pain lasts for a long time. Therefore, while pain is a necessary tool for human survival, living with chronic pain symptoms can be damaging to mental and physical well-being in the long run.
Pain is a feeling triggered in the nervous system. It may be sharp or dull, off-and-on or steady, localized (such as back pain) or all over (such as muscle aches from the flu). Sometimes, pain alerts us to injuries and illnesses that need attention. Although pain usually goes away once the underlying problem is addressed, it can last for weeks, months, or even years. Chronic pain may be due to an ongoing condition (such as arthritis) or to abnormal activity in pain-sensing regions of the brain, or the cause may not be known.
Certain conditions can lead to symptoms of chronic pain. Many people living with chronic pain experience lasting pain due to the fact that chronic illnesses may never be cured and symptoms of these illnesses, like pain can only be treated. Some of the illnesses that lead to symptoms of chronic pain include:
It’s not uncommon for a person to experience symptoms of chronic pain due to a combination of issues. For example, a person can be living with chronic pain due to an ongoing illness like diabetes as well as chronic pain due to a back injury. But, it can be helpful to identify whether or not pain is the result of an ongoing illness in order to first treat the underlying condition before addressing symptoms of chronic pain.
Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating pain. There are specific acupuncture points that relate to the spinal cord that aid in the deactivation of pain receptors in the brain. The use of manual or electrical stimulation of the needles has also been found as an effective way to release biochemicals for pain relief. Aside from the standard treatment and use of acupuncture for pain relief, there are also microsystems that can be used as well. There are points on the scalp, ears, hands, and feet that can have a direct effect on pain. Acupuncture has been an effective treatment in reducing pain for millions of patients globally.
Depending on the type of pain as well as its location, one can expect needle placement in the head, ears, upper and lower extremities, back, and possibly the abdomen. The use of electrostimulation on the needles, cupping, dry needling, K laser therapy, and CBD products can also be used for additional benefits.
Are you experiencing debilitating symptoms of acute or chronic pain due to ongoing illness, injury, or operation? If so, acupuncture can be a tool to help manage and reduce symptoms of pain. Dr. Tony Willcox at Acupuncture Zen in Delray Beach has years of experience offering acupuncture services in order to help people manage their pain. Find out more about how acupuncture can help you and book your initial consultation at Acupuncture Zen today by calling 561-633-3537.