Acupuncture also address the root causes of pain rather than just masking the symptoms. At Starting Point, we develop treatment plans that are unique to each patient because each patient comes in with a unique body, health history and root cause behind their pain.
Research Update: Acupuncture beats intravenous morphine for acute pain relief
Pain can take many forms. It can be acute or chronic. Acute pain typically is sudden and lasts less than three months. Often a direct result from soft tissue damage. While chronic pain lasts longer and is typically associated with underlying condition. Treating pain is a huge problem costing more than $65 billion a year in the United States.
We have discussed in previous posts how acupuncture is effective for treating chronic pain but what about acute pain?
Let’s see what the research says.
In 2016, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine published a study that looking at the efficacy of acupuncture in managing acute pain for patients in the emergency room when compared to intravenous morphine. The researchers looked at 300 patients who presented to the emergency room with acute onset moderate to severe pain. Half of them were treated with acupuncture and half were given intravenous morphine. To measure their pain reduction, they asked patients to report their pain score before and after the treatments, and considered a reduction of 50 percent or greater to be a significant reduction.
What did the study show?
The study showed the patients who received acupuncture treatments for their pain saw pain reductions of 92 percent compared to 78 percent in the morphine group. The acupuncture also seemed to work more quickly than the morphine, lowering patients’ pain scores in an average of 16 minutes compared to 28 minutes for the morphine group. Additionally, 89 patients who received morphine experienced minor adverse side effects while only four of the patients who received acupuncture did. Overall, this study showed acupuncture worked better and more quickly than intravenous morphine for reducing people’s pain in a medical setting.
This study joins a growing body of literature suggesting acupuncture is very effective at reducing pain and/or changing how our bodies experience pain. The lack of adverse side effects associated with acupuncture treatments presents a strong argument for its use, especially as synthetic medications are associated with many negative side effects and people are often allergic to the medications.
How acupuncture works
One of the ways acupuncture works is by stimulating the release of endorphins the natural pain-reducing hormone responsible for blocking the sensation of pain. The stimulation also releases other chemicals that either change how the body experiences pain or triggers the release of other chemicals that activate the body’s internal regulating system.
This process of stimulating certain points along the body has a normalizing effect on nerves and hormones. By bringing the body into better biochemical balance, acupuncture promotes physical and emotional well-being and supports the body’s natural healing abilities.
Root cause medicine for acute pain relief
Acupuncture also address the root causes of pain rather than just masking the symptoms. At Starting Point, we develop treatment plans that are unique to each patient because each patient comes in with a unique body, health history and root cause behind their pain. By addressing the root causes, we create more lasting healing and bring your body back to a place where it can function optimally, using its natural healing processes to help you stay well.
If you suffer from chronic pain, please give our office a call today, (425) 686-4498 to see how we can help!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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