Severe chronic pain in any part of body is a heavy psychological burden, even for the toughest of patients. As patients with migraine headaches, neck pain, back pain and pain of a neurological or musculoskeletal nature can testify, chronic pain will not only decrease quality of life by limiting a patient’s activity level, but also cause him or her to suffer emotionally. There are a variety of solutions that exist, but each comes with their own set of problems. Acupuncture has emerged as a method for pain management that has a very unique and desirable combination of risk and benefits and should be on the mind of every patient suffering from chronic pain. At Wang Acupuncture Clinic in Jacksonville FL, Fernandina Beach and Mandarin (near Fruit Cove and St Augustine, FL), we use methods that harness the pain relieving effects of acupuncture with minimal side effects and risks to the patient.
One class of solution for pain relief is pharmaceuticals. Commonly, people take NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as aspirin to reduce inflammation. These drugs are very cheap and convenient. However, patients may experience some of the many undesirable side effects such as bleeding in the stomach, kidney or liver damage, severe allergic reactions, hypertension, and fluid retention. Drugs in the opioids category can be very potent, but have their own list of problems. Drugs such as codeine or oxycodone are very addictive in nature and cause breathing problems, constipation, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, in addition to interaction with other drugs. While these drugs can be covered by insurance and widely avaiable, they are not appropriate for everyone, especially for the long term.
Another class of solutions involves procedures and is surgical in nature. A common method is corticosteroid injections. Steroid injections also decrease inflammation and reduce pain for some, but at the cost of potential weight gain, high blood pressure, puffy face, easy bruising of the skin, slow wound healing, cataracts, high blood sugar and fat buildup behind the neck. Other options, such as drastic surgical procedures can be rather invasive and carry the risks associated with any major surgery, such as the chance of death due to total anesthesia, serious infections, scar tissue formation, damage to nearby organs, as well as difficulty reversing the procedure should the outcome turn out to be undesirable. While surgical procedures are appropriate for many patients, the inherent risks to invasive procedures mean this class of solutions is not the most conservative in nature.
Along comes acupuncture to the rescue. The methods we use at Wang Acupuncture Clinic in Jacksonville, FL and Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island), FL as well as our Mandarin branch (in Julington Creek, north of St. Augustine FL) decrease inflammation and stimulate the release of the body’s own opioids. So basically, we use acupuncture to do what NSAIDs and opioids do, but without the undesirable side effects. Even though acupuncture is a procedure, it doesn’t carry the same risks as other procedures such as steroid injections because it doesn’t use corticosteroids, nor does it involve making invasive changes to the body as would major surgeries. In addition, you certainly wouldn’t need general anesthesia for an acupuncture treatment, which is so relaxing that many people fall sound asleep. While acupuncture carries certain risks, such as minor infections, pain or slight bleeding or rarely minor nerve damage, these problems are not major issues for the average practitioner. At Wang Acupuncture Clinic, we are well trained in anatomy from time spent in medical school and are able to minimize the possibility of such risks.
For those who suffer from chronic pain and are looking for a natural and effective method that has no side effects and minimal risk, acupuncture ought to be the first modality on your mind. At Wang Acupuncture Clinic, we charge a reasonable price and pride ourselves on our high rate of success for neck pain and back pain, as well as headaches. A patient who finds pain relief from a few treatments of acupuncture will save more time, money and agony than someone who has tried every single modality before undergoing acupuncture with Wang Acupuncture Clinic.