I can’t tell you how many people in some sort of chronic pain have come into my office saying, “I hope this works. I’ve tried everything else and you’re my last hope.” It drives me crazy because this is so backward. Acupuncture is safe, effective and way less expensive than surgery and pharmaceutical approaches to pain management. Acupuncture should be one of the first interventions that doctors think of when presented with a case involving pain, not the last. However, there is some hope.
The American Pain Society and the FDA Endorse Acupuncture for Pain
We’re slowly seeping into the mainstream for the management of pain. As we should be! This is from the American Pain Society: “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects. Referral for a course of acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for a patient with chronic pain” (American Pain Society article). They came to this conclusion after completing a meta-analysis of acupuncture pain research involving 20,827 patients. I mean, come on now, the evidence is pretty clear. Now our own FDA recognizes the effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness of acupuncture for pain. The FDA, “now recommends that doctors get information about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids.”
the (FDA Regulations).
The Acupuncture Center of Reading has Treated Pain Conditions for 25 Years
When I was on the faculty of the New England School of Acupuncture in the 1990s, I used to tell my students to develop specialties in whatever facet of health care they were drawn to, but they had better learn to treat pain, because that was what was going to walk in their doors. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a complete system of health care that has ways of working with the entire spectrum of health concerns that afflict us. And as with all health strategies though, it is better at some things than others. Pain is one area where acupuncture has proven its worth. And when you think of the severe potential downsides of other approaches like pain medications and surgery, I applaud every step forward that we take toward recognizing the value of acupuncture for people in pain.