acupuncture research

Managing Your Pain Vs. A Cure

The American College of Physicians is now recommending that patients with low back pain try alternative methods to relieve low back pain before taking over the counter medication or prescribed opioids and other versions of painkillers. Nonpharmacological therapies are encouraged. 

Findings show that steroid and acetaminophens like Tylenol were not as helpful as expected, while other Non-steroidal Anit-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) pain relievers such as aspirin and naproxen provided some relief. The review suggests patients with low back pain try alternative therapies including acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, and exercises including working with physical therapist to relieve pain.

When you visit an acupuncturist, make sure you relay the following information to the practitioner to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment:

  • How did it happen? Did your PCP order image study? What are the findings?
  • Nature (quality) of your pain - dull, ache, sharp, shooting pain, radiating.
  • Frequency - is it constant? does it come and go? with exertion? when resting?
  • Intensity (severity) - how bad can it get? what activity or position makes it better or worse
  • Location - Is it localized to a specific area? Or is it generalize to a larger area?
  • Weather - does certain weather condition make it better or worse? 
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  • Other associated conditions: do you also happen to have neck pain along with your low back pain? Knee pain act up similarly when low back pain is aggravated? Does consumption of certain foods worsen your pain level?

At Harvest Acupuncture, we tailor treatments according to the individual's needs and specific constitution. We also work closely with our physical therapy colleagues in order to produce optimal results for our patients. Contact us for more information and see if acupuncture is for you. 

Memorial Sloan Kettering: Acupuncture May Positively Affect Sleep for Breast Cancer Survivors with Hot Flash

'Basic science in animals has shown that electro-acupuncture can make the brain release endorphins as well as influence a type of neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Those types of neurotransmitters, which transmit signals from one neuron to another in the brain, have also been implicated in temperature regulation. I’d seen some studies demonstrating that acupuncture may be effective in reducing hot flashes, but often the number of people in the study was very small and the design was kind of problematic. So I set out to design my own study. When I wrote the trial, there was a study showing that in a large sample of breast cancer survivors, gabapentin was effective for hot flashes, so that’s why I picked it as an effective comparator.'