Pain Management

What types of painful conditions can benefit from acupuncture?

Injuries and Musculoskeletal Pain

Many research studies, outlined in the Acupuncture Evidence Project, recognise the efficacy of acupuncture to treat injuries such as tennis elbow, knee pain, bursitis and tendonitis as well as common complaints of lower back pain, frozen shoulder, neck pain and other sprains and strains. Other conditions such as osteoarthritis and restless leg syndrome also receive pain relief from acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture assists with tissue regeneration, decreasing inflammation, improving range of motion and maintaining the suppleness of joints and tendons. Treatments resolve the acute symptoms and nourish the body to prevent future injury.

Nerve Pain

Conditions such as sciatica and post-operative nerve pain tend to respond very well to acupuncture compared to other manual therapies, as acupuncture treatments are gentle and relatively non-invasive. Research on this topic can be found in the Acupuncture Evidence Project.

Headaches & Migraines

Treatment success for headaches & migraines is well documented in the Acupuncture Evidence Project. Acupuncture may reduce current headache and migraine pain and reduce the frequency and severity of future occurrences. Our treatments address the underlying causes of such pain and address lifestyle and dietary factors which may contribute to the occurrence of headaches and migraines.

How does it work?

This is a rather large topic to cover but the most widely recognised therapeutic effect is that acupuncture acts as an analgesic, affecting the endogenous opioid system (endogenous dynorphins : endogenous beta endorphin) to relieve pain. Many studies using MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and other modern technology demonstrate the effects of acupuncture on the brain during pain-relief treatment. There is an increasing amount of evidence highlighting the effect of acupuncture in altering the secretion of neurotransmitters and hormones as well as regulating blood flow through the body.

For more information on acupuncture and pain management, visit our Blog and our Research page.

Read this article from the Acupuncture Now Foundation ‘Acupuncture in Pain Management: Strengths & Weaknesses of a Promising Non-Pharmacologic Therapy in the Age of the Opioid Epidemic.’

Dynorphin-(1-13), an extraordinarily potent opioid peptide

Acupuncture and endorphins

Evidence map of acupuncture

Acupuncture for migraine prevention.

Verum versus sham manual acupuncture for migraine: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials.