Chronic Pain Conditions

Pain can be the initial or sometimes simply the most motivating issue of a pathology – it will often present as part of a picture, which your Chinese Medical Practitioner can diagnose and treat. Many pain conditions will, for example, be triggered by stress or other emotions.

We can assist in facilitating that change to enable your body to heal and recover more quickly.

The International Association for the Study of Pain has defined pain “as an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience resulting from actual or potential tissue damage…”. Chronic pain may be defined as pain that lasts beyond the usual course of the acute disease or expected time of healing, and it may continue for an indefinate period of time.

Typical chronic pain conditions include: osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; low back, shoulder and neck pain; headache and migraine; cancer pain; fibromyalgia; neuropathic pain (e.g. sciatica, trigeminal neuralgia, post herpetic neuralgia); chronic overuse conditions (e.g. tendonitis); and chronic visceral pain (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, endometriosis).

Acupuncture can assist in minimising, resolving and managing your symptoms and help you regain the parts of your life sacrificed to chronic pain.

The Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medicine, and Chronic Pain Australia association also recommends Acupuncture as the preferred, most effective treatment of chronic pain.(refer to their videos here if you are interested).

In regard to Chronic Pain treatment, clinical trials consistently show a performance of real acupuncture considerably over sham acupuncture, (although both performed over medication) as well as continuing long term affects after treatment.

Acupuncture may help relieve chronic pain by:
• stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors (e.g. neuropeptide Y, serotonin), and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Han 2004, Zhao 2008, Zhou 2008, Lee 2009, Cheng 2009);
• increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties (Goldman 2010);
• modulating the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network (Hui 2009);
• reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory
factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);
• improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation
(Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.

Chronic pain conditions have been extensively researched with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. These are now thought to be related to systemic inflammation of the body and nervous system, something Acupuncture excels in realigning and assisting, and good improvements are often observed after regular treatment.

Chinese Herbal Medicine provides additional, long term benefits to Acupuncture treatment, as a natural alternative to anti-inflammatories and pain-killers, without side effects.

Vickers, A. J., et. al. Acupuncture for Chronic Pain, Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis, 2012 American Medical Association;172(19):1444-1453
Hopton A, MacPherson H. Acupuncture for chronic pain: is acupuncture more than an effective placebo? A systematic review of pooled data from meta-analyses. Pain Pract 2010; 10: 94-102.
Sherman KJ, Coeytaux RR. Acupuncture for Improving Chronic Back Pain, Osteoarthritis and Headache. J Clin Outcomes Manag 2009; 16: 224-30.