Health Tips brought to you by U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group. Our experienced medical experts provide information here that we hope will broaden your healthcare knowledge.
Although many people have heard of acupuncture, they may not know that it’s offered here at U.S. HealthWorks. Why acupuncture? Today we learn more about this practice with Dr. Ken Johns, Director of Specialty Services for U.S. HealthWorks.
Q: Aside from needles, many people may not know much about acupuncture. What is the purpose of it?
A: Acupuncture, or Traditional Chinese Medicine as it is also called, is a form a medical treatment that utilizes the insertion of small needles in specific points of the body with the goal of improving health. There is some disagreement on which conditions acupuncture can effectively treat. Some practitioners use it to treat almost any condition, but the Western medical literature shows the greatest support for acupuncture in the treatment of pain. At U.S. HealthWorks, acupuncture is primarily used to address pain resulting from a musculoskeletal injury.
Q: Is it painful to get acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is usually painless. The needles that are used are very fine and are rarely painful when inserted. As with any physical treatment, there may be some soreness after the treatment. In most cases, acupuncture is not only painless, but because it is effective at treating existing pain, patients actually have less pain.
Q: What are some ailments that acupuncture can help with?
A: Because acupuncture is very effective at the treatment of pain, it can be utilized in almost any condition for which pain is a significant component. Neck, back and other joint injuries as well as sprains and strains are frequently treated with acupuncture
Q: Is acupuncture better used to deal with short-term pain, or does it help manage chronic pain? For example, if I have arthritis, would it help?
A: Acupuncture can help with both acute and chronic pain. That said, improvement in acute pain occurs almost immediately, while chronic pain can take a little longer. This is because when acupuncture is used for chronic pain, it is used to decrease pain so that the patient can add other things such as exercise, increase activity etc. to address the underlying issues (such as arthritis).
Q: Does acupuncture take the place of other medical treatments?
A: Acupuncture does not usually take the place of other medical treatment but at times can be used in place of medications for pain. Often acupuncture is prescribed as one component of medical care where the acupuncturist treats a patient while they are still actively seeing their medical physician. It is not unusual for a patient to have acupuncture in combination with other types of therapy, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care.
Q: Is it safe for everyone to get acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is safe for most patients. There are some conditions such as bleeding disorders or immune system deficiencies that may suggest treatment other than acupuncture or require modifications to treatment. On a patient’s first visit with an acupuncturist, the provider will screen for any conditions that may limit or change how care is delivered.
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