Alternatives to Treating Chronic Pain
Western bio-medicine has a toolbox that includes opioids, epidural and steroid injections, and surgery to treat chronic pain. When those treatments fail to alleviate the problem, patients are often left to their own devices. Dr. Ragsdale offers an alternative and effective way to deal with chronic pain.
Acupuncture works on the nervous and vascular system—bringing more red blood cells to injured tissue or organ system, releasing anti-inflammatory responses, and stimulating pain modulators in the nervous system. In summary, it has tremendous success triggering the body’s ability to respond, repair, and heal.
At 1000 Folded Cranes Acupuncture and Family Health Clinic, our approach to chronic pain leverages a ‘root-and-branch’ perspective.
Where we feel pain may just be the branch, causing confusion as to its source. Through our years of experience, we also focus on the underlying condition that has manifested into chronic pain. This aim is designed to treat and heal the ‘root’ of the condition. This dual approach to pain management has been extremely successful for our patients. As anti-inflammatories, cortisone shots, and surgery become less and less attractive for the long-term pain sufferer, our treatments allow patients to heal quickly without the side effects associated with prolonged opioid use.
Chronic pain conditions we treat include:
Typically affecting just one side of the body (inflammation, pain, and sometimes numbness in the affected leg), Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, starting from the lower back through the hips and buttocks, then down the back of the leg. Nerve pain can linger, particularly if it results from disc herniation or other spinal conditions. Because acupuncture is effective with inflammation and nerve stimulation, relief is possible.
With severe pain involving the lower face and jaw, and sometimes the area around the nose and above the eye, Trigeminal Neuralgia can be an intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve. Our treatment, involving targeted acupuncture sessions, can relieve and treat Trigeminal Neuralgia without the side effects of the medicine. Western practice resolves to use powerful, anti-convulsant drugs that may cause dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, nausea, confusion, and depression.
Fibromyalgia, Lupus, RA and other Auto-Immune Conditions
Fibromyalgia is a neurologic, chronic health condition that causes pain all over the body. Patients express tenderness to touch, severe fatigue, non-restorative sleep, migraines, and even digestive problems. Because Fibromyalgia is derived from the central nervous system, acupuncture has the potential to correct the body’s energy imbalance, reduce fibromyalgia symptoms and the resulting chronic pain. After just one acupuncture session, some patients have noticed that their hot flashes and headaches were less severe and that their body pain, on a 1 to 10 scale, is greatly reduced.
Acupuncture naturally relieves pain and inflammation because the methodology is based on accessing specific meridians that flow through the body. These meridians are like streams that nourish and supply the body and tissues. Inflammation affects these channels like a roadblock, stopping vital energy flow, causing pain and disease. Acupuncture helps in three ways:
- It causes the body to produce endorphins, providing natural pain reduction.
- It blocks pain signals through the nervous system without medication.
- It turns off pain trigger points while reactivating critical soft tissues while relaxing the body.
Acupuncture, when done with therapeutic intent, can greatly reduce carpal tunnel symptoms. Independent studies confirm that acupuncture is more effective than anti-inflammatory medications and successfully alleviates pain, inflammation, numbness, and restores motor dexterity. This is verified using electromyography, which confirms the results including improvements in sensory and nerve response.
Acupuncture is extremely helpful in relieving inflammation, pain, and tension commonly associated with TMJ. Over time, the symptoms of TMJ include everything from migraines, neck and shoulder pain, earaches, dizziness, and pain involving chewing or opening the jaw, begin to subside. For patients, acupuncture serves as one of the most effective drug-free treatments available.
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves of the extremities. What is affected most is the sensory nerves, causing pain, tingling, and numbness. The feet or hands tend to be affected first with progression up the limb. The treatment for peripheral neuropathy is given on both sides of the body as well as the lumbar or cervical areas. By treating the peripherals and the spine, helps to reduce the sensitivity of the nerves and restores normal function. The treatment results are cumulative, requiring several treatments.
Acupuncture can greatly reduce menstrual pain and irregularity. Having specialization in women’s health, our patients have expressed significant improvement in their period pain intensity and related symptoms, improving their overall quality of life. Only recently have medical studies revealed what we have known and practiced for years.
Acupuncture treatment, when done correctly, by pinpointing the correct channels of the body for the condition, significantly reduces the intensity and duration of period pain, including bloating, headaches, and nausea. Our patients have also indicated that these improvements have lasted up to a year or more after treatment, proof that the brain and body accept and maintain the hormonal changes as a result of treatment.