Pain is the number one reason patients seek out treatment.  We have seen acupuncture treat pain like no other therapy and it’s our first recommendation for any patient suffering from pain-related issues. 

Pain is a huge motivating factor in seeking out health care.  In fact it’s the number one reason people do. The American Academy of Pain Medicine estimates 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That is an astounding number. According to the National Institute of Health Statistics survey, low back pain was the most common (27%) and the leading cause of disability, followed by severe headache or migraine pain (15%), neck pain (15%) and facial ache or pain (4%).

Conventional medicine’s first line of therapy for pain management is pharmacologic therapy often combined with manual therapies like physical therapy. Pain medicine can work well in an acute situation but prescription drug dependency and abuse is a major byproduct of chronic pain treatment, creating an unintentional dependency cycle.

The Institute of Medicine reports that pain costs every person in the U.S. an average of $2000 a year, which makes it a major public health issue.  The issue also with drug therapy is that it’s not curative, frequent dosing is needed along with increased combination therapies and there is little information about the long-term effects.  We also know that getting off of these medications can be most troublesome as we see the effects of an unintended dependency while weaning off.  Often this leads to an increase in pain.

Acupuncture and Pain: A well-suited team

Acupuncture, a therapy involving the insertion of thin needles into specific locations for the treatment of physical, mental, and emotional complaints has been practiced for millennia. Scientific methodology is still trying to understand how it works, but it’s clear that it is an effective and safe tool for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. While no set rationale or scientific explanation has been determined, research has demonstrated acupuncture’s effectiveness in treatment of back, neck, and knee pain, and migraines; a large majority of pains for which drug treatment is the primary therapy offered!

As an acupuncturist, pain is the number one reason patients seek out treatment.  We have seen acupuncture treat pain like no other therapy and it’s our first recommendation for any patient suffering from pain-related issues. It works quickly!

Common complaints we treat:

  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • headaches and migraines
  • osteoarthritis and injuries
  • neuralgia
  • carpal tunnel
  • post-surgical pain
  • oncology-related pain

Number of Visits:

We are frequently asked this question and what we often find to be the most effective strategy for managing and eliminating pain is multiple treatments in short successions. This is much like a race beginning at the starting line, but each mile marker finds you closer and closer to the finish line. The goal in our first visit is to elicit a noticeable decrease in pain or change of sensation by the end of treatment.  This is termed  “li gan jian ying,” translating to an immediate and noticeable change in pain or sensation. This relief may last a couple hours, a day, or weeks, but it’s common for pain to return shortly after the initial visit. Multiple visits in short succession are recommended to “get ahead of the pain.” Ideally, each visit decreases pain levels and return visits occur before the pain reaches its previous max.  To do this, treatment 2-3 times per week for 1-3 weeks initially is recommended.  As pain levels improve, the number of treatments becomes reduced and the time between visits becomes substantially lengthened.

While frequent treatments upfront may appear to be cost prohibitive, considering the long term cost of medications, medication side effects, surgeries, imaging, and procedures, acupuncture has been shown to be cost saving. Acupuncture can also eliminate pain long-term. If we consider issues with side effects, dependency, and invasiveness, acupuncture has little to none of these issues.

Richmond Natural Medicine’s Community Acupuncture is also our best tool to combat cost issues.  It allows us the opportunity to see you frequently and get ahead of your pain so you can get on with your life.

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Community Acupuncture is offered:

To schedule an acupuncture appointment, contact our front desk at (804) 977-2634.