Acupuncture San Diego, Acupuncture Oceanside CA
FAQ\’s on Acupuncture in San Diego
Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that began in ancient China over 3000 years ago. The alternative pain treatment is used to combat a number of conditions from menstrual cramp pain to osteoarthritis. The practice of acupuncture gained popularity in western culture and is now widely used in San Diego and the US to treat patients with various conditions, offering favorable benefits and outcomes.
What is Acupuncture?
In the U.S. medical doctors and alternative providers are performing the treatment of acupuncture. Most states are stringent on the training and require 200-300 hours of acupuncture training for professionals. This number of required training hours is in addition to the training required to become a practicing and licensed medical doctor.
The actual procedure consists of stimulating various points on the body by inserting tiny needles into the areas. These points are referred to as acupoints. The technique involves inserting thin needles into the skin and manipulating the needles by hand or electrical stimulation.
According to statistical data released in 2002 by a National Health Interview Survey, there were an estimated eight million adults in the United States that have utilized acupuncture annually and this number has grown within the last ten years. Acupuncture is used as a complimentary or companion treatment, often referred to as an adjunct treatment for a growing list of problems and disorders.
What Can Acupuncture do for Pain?
Rigorous studies have been conducted on patients with severe osteoporosis and pain related to the condition and the use of acupuncture to relieve symptoms. According to extensive research the outcomes proved to be extremely favorable.
It was determined that acupuncture reduced pain and improved a patient’s ability to regain mobility and movement, especially those patients who were affected with osteoporosis of the knee (Wilkinson, et al., Oxford Journals, 2007).
Research conducted in 2012 by a small group of scientists at the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration, provided further insight into the benefits of what acupuncture can do for chronic pain sufferers. Randomized controlled trials were conducted on close to 18,000 patients. The trials were designed to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture for neck and back pain, shoulder pain, chronic headaches, and pain associated with osteoarthritis (Vickers, et al., Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012).
The effects were overall the same across the board for most pain conditions that were studied. The scientists reported that the majority of those who received treatment via acupuncture were provided with some degree of pain relief, some greater than others. The study showed that acupuncture provides pain relief from chronic pain conditions and was noted to be an effective option of referral for patients with chronic pain.
Are There Risks Associated with Acupuncture Treatment?
As with any medical procedure there are risks or possible side effects, although low. Some of the most common side effects associated with this form of treatment include:
- Soreness or bleeding – Some minimal bleeding or tenderness at the needle site may develop following the procedure. Since the needle is so small, there is minimal bleeding and bruising.
- Injury to the organs – If the needles are pushed too deeply into the body there is a risk for organ damage and injury. This is especially critical around the area of the lungs because of where they are positioned on the body and a pneumothorax (dropped lung) is a rare complication. Only an experienced acupuncturist should perform the procedure, although this complication is extremely rare.
- Exposure to disease – If the needles are not sterile a patient could be exposed to disease, infection or contamination. A specialist should use sterile or disposable needles that are free from contamination in order to reduce the risk of infection and exposure to disease.
While most people with pain are candidates for acupuncture as an effective treatment option, some patients are not. There are particular conditions that may increase the risk of side effects and complications. These conditions include:
- Pregnancy – There are some forms of acupuncture that are believed to actually stimulate the labor process, possibly resulting in a premature birth. Pregnant women, unless authorized by a medical doctor, should avoid using acupuncture.
- Blood thinner users – If you take blood thinners routinely or have a condition in which your blood is thin, you should avoid acupuncture treatment. Your chances of excessive bleeding and internal bruising may be greater than those who do not have a blood thinning condition or use drugs to keep the blood thin.
- Pacemaker – If you have a pacemaker, even the slightest electrical impulse can disrupt function and put you at risk for heart damage or worse. Some forms of acupuncture involve the use of mild electrical pulses that work through the needles, which may interfere with the pacemaker’s ability to operate.
Studies and research continues in the field of acupuncture, although current results are promising for the treatment’s effectiveness in treating pain conditions. With few side effects, the treatment is highly favorable, especially if a patient is having difficulties controlling the pain using more traditional approaches.
Let the California Pain Network help connect you with the best acupuncture San Diego providers. Simply fill out the contact form or call (619) 500-1573 for assistance.