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Acupuncture: What Is It and Does It Really Work?

Acupuncture is becoming more frequently used for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries so it is important to know what it is all about.

Acupuncture can be traced all the way back to 1600 BC. It has only become more popular in the west since the 1970s. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific acupuncture points along the body. Acupuncture can be used to treat a vast number of ailments. Physiotherapists commonly use acupuncture for acute and chronic pain, muscle spasm, tenderness and headaches.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the body’s neuroendocrine system to produce its own natural pain relievers known as endorphins.  Endorphins are chemicals within the body that help the body heal and decrease the amount of pain perceived. Acupuncture needles are inserted into neuroreactive sites to induce autonomic, sensory and/or motor neuromodulatory responses. People may experience a dull ache upon insertion, which should fade quickly.

Acupuncture is not painful and is very safe. Only disposable sterilized needles are used. People’s response to acupuncture varies. Some people experience immediate pain relief, others gradual or no relief. Occasionally some people may experience nausea, dizziness, minor bruising or temporary aggravation of symptoms. Treatment time varies from 20-40 minutes and may be used alone or together with other physiotherapy treatment techniques.

Common Conditions Acupuncture May Be Useful For:

  • Frozen Shoulder                         
  • Plantar Fasciitis                                                      
  • Myofascial Pain                                     
  • Neck and Back Pain         
  • Shin Splints
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Hip Pain / Arthalgia 
  • Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Headaches
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Knee Pain / Bursitis / Capsulitis / Ligament Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • TMJ Dysfunction

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