Lumbar disc herniation is one of the most common diseases and contributors to lower back pain and extremity pain in the United States. Treatment of lower disc herniation is controversial and highly debated in the medical community with recommendations such as opioids, physiotherapy, surgery or simple bed rest. These treatment options seem somehow effective but evidence on their long-term success in patients is very limited.
Researchers from the University of Shanghai conducted a clinical study with the purpose of testing the effectiveness of a new treatment method for lumbar disc herniation: acupoint injections. The study selected 120 patients suffering from lumbar disc herniation and randomly assigned them into either the treatment group or the control group. The patients assigned to the control group were treated with acupuncture for 30 minutes, every other day for a period of 3 weeks. Patients assigned to the treatment group received acupoint injections with 1ml of methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) every other day for 3 weeks on the same spots where the acupuncture needles were inserted in the control group patients. The results of the study showed that 86.67% of patients in the treatment group reported significant relief of pain and other lumbar disc herniation symptoms compared to 53.33% on the control group. It is also important to notice that no patient in the study reported feeling side effects from the treatments. This study as well as others on this subject strongly support the idea of using acupoint injections as treatment options for lumbar disc herniation. Although more evidence on the long-term effectiveness of lumbar disc herniation treatments is needed, the future of the disease seems bright! For more information about vitamin B12 injections and/or acupuncture, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.
Jiangyoug Li and Hongyuan Lin. Shanxi Journal of TCM (Shan Xi Zhong Yi). 2017, 33:11. 34-35
Have you or any of your loved ones ever been involved in a car accident? Are you familiar with the health repercussions following a car collision? One of the most common issues that develop after a car accident is known as “whiplash associated disorder.” Whiplash associated disorder is a post-concussion syndrome that manifests in a range of symptoms following neck injury and that can be present for many years following the accident. A clinical case study conducted by Dr. Theresa Lee, member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, found that acupuncture orwas an extremely successful treatment option for a patient suffering from Whiplash associated disorder symptoms for over two decades.
Dr. Lee’s patient was involved in a car accident while she was pregnant with her youngest son. After suffering a car accident that lead her to develop whiplash associated disorder and struggling for over 23 years post-accident with the detrimental and debilitating health symptoms, acupuncture provided the relief she was desperately needing. Due to the pregnancy, proper diagnostic imaging was not performed in order to protect the fetus from exposure to radiation. Since imaging wasn’t performed on this patient, the neck injury she suffered from the accident wasn’t correctly identified and she was sent home with a prescription of pain killers. On the years following the accident, Dr. Lee’s patient suffered from severe headaches and chronic pain in her upper body, back and neck. The patient tried multiple treatment options and none of them yielded the results that she was looking for until she was treated with acupuncture. After the first acupuncture treatment the patient stopped having headaches and felt emotionally relieved despite the continuation of her back pain. After the fourth treatment, the trigger points that the patient had on her neck area due to the accident disappeared. After the sixth treatment, the patient no longer reported bodily pain or discomfort. The results of this case study suggest that acupuncture could be a successful treatment option for patients suffering from whiplash associated disorder and other post- car accident symptoms. For more information about acupuncture and whiplash associated symptoms, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or Seattle Car Accident Help.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cupping, Headache, knee pain, Neck pain, osteoarthritis, Pain relief, Shoulder pain, TMJ
There have been extensive studies conducted on acupuncture and its benefits, especially for back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, and other forms of chronic pain. A clinical study conducted by RMIT University Biomedical Department in Melbourne, Australia, found that acupuncture was as effective as other pain medicine in providing long-term relief for patients who came to the emergency room in considerable pain. This study used four different hospital emergency departments across the country. For the study, patients were divided in groups depending on their different pain levels. Patients who identified their level of pain as at least 4 on a 10-point scale randomly received one of three types of treatment: acupuncture alone, acupuncture plus pharmacotherapy or pharmacotherapy alone. After 48 hours of treatment, 82.8% of patients who received acupuncture alone found their treatment very helpful and reported that they would probably repeat it, compared with 80.8 % in the combined group, and 78.2 % in the pharmacotherapy-only group. Results show that acupuncture is a viable alternative and would be especially beneficial for patients who are unable to take standard pain-relieving drugs because of other medical conditions such as allergic reactions to the drugs or even opioid addictions.
But what exactly is acupuncture? Acupuncture is a technique in which specific points on the body are stimulated by the insertion of very thin needles through your skin. Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and it is increasingly becoming a popular practice in Western medicine as well. Acupuncture is also used for overall wellness, including stress and anxiety management. Research suggests that acupuncture not only helps manage plenty of pain conditions, but also helps treat symptoms such as nausea after chemotherapy treatment and respiratory disorders such as allergic rhinitis. You should know that acupuncture is considered a safe practice when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. If you would like to know more about acupuncture or any other of Dr. Lee’s services, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Fatigue, Headache, knee pain, Neck pain, osteoarthritis, Pain relief, Shoulder pain, TMJ, Uncategorized
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a syndrome characterized by pain persisting for more than 3 months following the resolution of shingles. Symptoms of PHN include central pain sensation, unpleasant sensation to touch, and itchiness along the distribution of the involved dermatome. Often times patients are prescribed with anti-viral medications at the initial outbreak of shingles and when the lesions resolved and PHN kicks in, many providers are left with prescribing more medications that may or may not be effective.
The conventional treatments for PHN, such as tricyclic antidepressants, antiepileptics, opioids, tramadol, lidocaine and capsaicin, which are probably effective to relieve some of the pain for a period of time. However, approximately 50% of patients may still not obtain satisfactory analgesia despite treatments with these medications.
Acupuncture, which has a history of more than 2000 years in the prevention and treatment of diseases, plays an important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Different kinds of acupuncture methods such as needling, electroacupuncture, and cupping are in use for the treatment of PHN in hospitals in China. In the past 5 years, acupuncture for treating PHN has been used in more than 137 studies. The benefit of the treatment group was reported between 84.1% and 97.5%.1 The clinical trials indicate that acupuncture could reduce pain and discomfort among most patients and also remove pain and discomfort among some patients.
Vitamin B12 has long known has a nerve food. In deprivation of vitamin B12, individuals can experience numbness and tingling. It is an excellent choice in alleviating symptoms of PHN. According to researches, the injection of methylcolbalamin (methyl vitamin B12) significantly reduced continuous pain, paroxysmal pain, and allodynia in the subacute herpetic neuralgia patients2. Thus, methyl B12 may be an alternative candidate for treating SHN.
Acupuncture and vitamin B12 and other naturopathic approaches should be considered at the onset of shingles to help minimize the occurrence or the severity of PHN.
- Yan, Z. J. Acupunct. Tuina. Sci. (2004) 2: 39. doi:10.1007/BF02848360
- Neural Plasticity. Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 424651, 6 pages
Being in a car crash can be one of the most life changing events, and depending on the severity of crash can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain. Whiplash, also known as traumatic cervical syndrome, is one of the most common collision injuries and occurs when the neck is jolted in such a way that tweaks the delicate muscles, tendons and ligaments of the neck and spine. Some of the physical symptoms experienced from whiplash include neck pain/ stiffness, headache dizziness, back pain, arm/shoulder pain, numbness and tingling, amongst other symptoms. The pain experienced as well as potential bruising and swelling after a car crash is the result of trauma to the tissues of the body that causes stagnation of blood and the body’s vital energy, Qi.
Acupuncture is a passive yet effective way to activate and increase the body’s circulation of Qi and blood in order to restore damaged tissues. Acupuncture also causes the release of endorphins that block the transmission of pain signaling in the brain. After a car crash, passive treatment may be the best approach immediately following an accident in order to allow traumatized muscles and ligaments time to heal without further strain. Acupuncture is a holistic form of healing and can vastly improve your body’s innate ability to heal itself and therefore increase the rehabilitation and healing rate and reduce the risk of chronic pain long term following a car accident.
Most auto accident injuries are covered by automobile insurance. We know exactly how to find out what coverage is available for you and how to bill for it. If you have any questions regarding to how acupuncture can help with pain from a car accident or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call (206)319-5322.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Cupping, Depression, Fatigue, Headache, Insomnia, Jaw pain, Neck pain, Pain relief, Shoulder pain
Cupping can be combined with acupuncture to help treat a large variety of problems and has been used for athletes and non-athletes alike. There are many different ways to achieve the effects of cupping most of which involve oiling the area of skin and placing a smooth rimmed cup on it with a suction. The suction can be obtained through two methods; one is by firing the cup to remove all of the oxygen from within it and then placing it on the skin. The other is to place the cup and create a localized low pressure region through a mechanical device. Once the cups are in place, they can be moved across the back, pulling toxins to the surface; a common area for cupping is the back, especially along each side of the spine. Once the procedure is over, patients will notice some bruising and red to pink marks along the treated area due to the blood coming to the surface. Color, texture and longevity of the marks indicate the amount of toxins pulled from the system. According to traditional Chinese medicine, cupping helps improve qi, which is the flow of natural energy throughout the body.
Myofascial Decompression Treatment, known as cupping, is a way to loosen tight muscles, increase blood flow, and helps improve respiratory problems in patients. It does this by pulling blood and toxins to the surface that are trapped between the constricted muscle layers known as muscle fascia. Lymph and stagnant blood are pulled to the surface. In essence, it is the opposite of a deep tissue message.
Examples of usage for cupping are upper and lower back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, tightness in the muscle, asthma, and chronic cough. Cupping is often performed in the same treatment as acupuncture to enhance the effectiveness of both therapies.
For more information about cupping, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322
According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 80 percent of the general population in the United States will suffer from low back pain sometime during their lifetime. Low back pain is the second most frequent reason Americans visit a medical doctor for treatment. It is also, according to a widely publicized study, the most frequent reason that Americans visit a licensed acupuncturist for care.
A German study on chronic low back pain showed that acupuncture works twice as well as standard care (Haake et al 2007). Standard care is defined as using drugs and physical therapy.
This was a double blinded randomized, controlled trial conducted in Germany involving 340 outpatient practices, including 1162 patients aged 18 to 86 years with a history of chronic low back pain for an average of 8 years. Patients underwent ten 30 minute sessions, usually 2 sessions per week, of acupuncture according to principles of traditional Chinese medicine; or conventional therapy, a combination of drugs, physical therapy, and exercise.
The conclusion of the study was that chronic low back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. The effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional therapy.
Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(17):1892-1898
If you suffer from back pain and live in Seattle, call us at 206-319-5322 today to set up your appointment for pain free health.