What is Pain?
Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong. This signal is sent to your brain so that you pay attention to the problem, possibly alter your behavior (keep weight off a broken leg, get therapy to help the healing process etc.) and allow the body to heal the problem. Pain is often caused by an injury and as it heals, the pain becomes less severe and eventually goes away. Chronic pain (pain that lasts at least 12 weeks) is when your body continues to send pain signals to your brain ever AFTER the injury is healed. In fact, chronic pain can exist without any physical injury.
- Common Types of Chronic Pain:
- Low Back Pain
- Arthritis Pain
- Post Surgical Pain
- Nerve Pain
- Post Trauma Pain
- Psychological Pain
- Pain Management
As indicated by the term, chronic pain is often managed, not cured. There are traditional treatment options but some of them come with drawbacks. Pain relievers are often employed but all have side effects (especially opioids and their addictive nature). It is also often necessary to continually increase the dosage of pain relievers just to maintain the same level of pain relief. There are other pharmaceuticals that can be used, from muscle relaxants to antirheumatic agents. Results vary from patient to patient and side effects are again a concern. When the pain is psychological in nature, antidepressants are often used. These work best in conjunction with psychotherapy.
Massage, physical therapy and even meditation can aid in managing chronic pain. Acupuncture is also a powerful therapy to help reduce pain intensity and frequency as well as increasing range of motion and mobility. Acupuncture can induce the body to produce endorphins such as serotonin and epinephrine that will alter the way your brain processes pain signals. Acupuncture can also “re-train” the nervous system to stop sending pain signals to your brain. By increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation, acupuncture can help your body heal from things like post surgical and post trauma pain.
Chronic pain can be debilitating and have a drastic effect on your quality of life. If you are considering acupuncture, don’t wait. You can start feeling better today, call to schedule a consultation and we can start you on the path to feeling better.
Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!