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Tag Archives: acupuncture and pain relief

Acupuncture Relieves Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) are the most common job-related injuries and are responsible for the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a well-known common injury that occurs due to repetitive stress, such as computer use. CTS is also the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist made up of ligaments and bones. The median nerve and the tendons that connect the fingers to the muscles of the forearm pass through this tightly spaced tunnel. Carpal tunnel occurs when swelling or irritation of the tendons begin to put pressure on the median nerve causing pain in the palm side of the wrist and pain and tingling in the fingers. Repetitive movements can cause the tendons and ligaments to inflame.

Symptoms start gradually, with burning, tingling or numbness in the fingers and palm. The fingers most involved are the index, middle and ring. Pain can travel and effect the arm and shoulder. As symptoms worsen, people feel pain and weakness in the hand and wrist. If CTS is not treated, it can cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent deterioration of muscle tissue.

How can Acupuncture help?

From a TCM perspective, a repetitive stress injury is seen as a disruption in the flow of Qi and blood. Acupuncture points are chosen (some local and some distal) which reduce swelling, inflammation and pain by improving blood flow to the area. Patients can observe relief in pain, numbness and tingling in just a few treatments. In fact, in a randomize controlled study published in the May 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of Pain, acupuncture was found to be as effective as the corticosteroid, prednisone, for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Acupuncture For Racehorses

This blog post is written with my husband in mind 🙂 My husband is a huge horse racing fan. If he isn’t watching a horse race on the television then he is watching one on his computer or Iphone. I rarely can go a day without hearing a horse announcer’s voice in my living room.

I came across a nice article about how Dr. Vonderwell, a veterinary in the UK, uses acupuncture for treatment of various disorders in racehorses. Acupuncture is his primary diagnostic approach. Dr. Vonderwell is able to identify the problem with a horse without hearing the history or seeing the horse move; he simply palpates a group of acupuncture points and based on which points are tender or sore on the horse he is able to diagnose the problem.

Another veterinarian, Dr. Earl C. Sutherland, uses both acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation in his standard lameness examination and treatment of various lameness conditions. “Diagnostically, acupuncture is useful to map out where in the body the problem is located,” he said. “Most abnormal situations of the body, such as pain, inflammation, decrease or increase in circulation, decrease or increase in myofacial tone, etc., are already mapped out by the central nervous system. The central nervous system reflects this map onto the surface of the body by way of the acupuncture meridians and points. By palpation of the meridians and points, noticing increased or decreased reflexes and differences in tissue quality (firm, soft, yielding to pressure, tightening up under pressure, warm, cold, etc.), the acupuncturist can figuratively read the reflected map. This not only helps in locating the problem areas but also helps in differentiating between primary and secondary lameness.”

You will find lots of skeptics on acupuncture who claim its effects are mostly placebo. I find that articles like these help to quiet those skeptics. Animals are unable to express their feelings verbally but are able to communicate when they are in pain and when they experience relief from that pain. While no one mechanism can explain all the physiological effects of acupuncture, the therapeutic effects can easily be observed. Many horse owners appreciate the naturalness and safety of acupuncture. Side effects are rare and no drugs or chemicals substances ever enter the body. Acupuncture can not only heal humans but animals as well.