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Musculoskeletal & Neurological Symptoms

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Pain Treatments in Downtown Seattle

Aches, Pains, Numbness, Tingling, Reduced Range of Motion  

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Acupuncture is an incredibly effective treatment for many musculoskeletal & neurological symptoms and conditions like pain, headaches, arthritis, neuropathy, sports injuries and more! Check below for some highlighted conditions.

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Acupuncture for Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that people seek treatment for. Acupuncture and Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy (PIT) can be very effective at the treatment of arthritis. 

There are several types of arthritis including Osteoarthritis (the most common), Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriatic Arthritis. 

Osteoarthritis
 

Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammation and degeneration of the cartilage in a joint. It can affect any joint, but is most commonly seen in the hands and fingers, the spine, and weight bearing joints like the knees and hips. 

The inflammation speeds up the degeneration of the cartilage, and also the lack of cartilage increases the inflammation - they feed into each other and further the damage of joint as well as the pain experienced. As the inflammation and degeneration of the cartilage continue, it can lead to bony malformation via spurring (bone spurs). 

 

Acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation and increase circulation to the joint to help slow down (and even reverse) this process. Acupuncture also reduces muscle tension and guarding of the joint which can greatly reduce the pain and irritation experienced. Once bony deformation has occurred, it is unlikely that we will be able to fully reverse the condition, however, by reducing the inflammation we can greatly reduce the pain and help prevent further damage to the joint. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis an autoimmune condition with chronic inflammation of the joints. As opposed to osteoarthritis that can occur in any single joint, rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition so we typically see multi-joint and bilateral (both sides of the body) presentation.

 

Just like with the acupuncture treatment of osteoarthritis, we focus on reducing the inflammation and increasing the circulation of the affected joints, as well as reducing muscle tension and guarding. The difference with acupuncture treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is that we will also work on systemic inflammation to combat the autoimmune aspect of the condition. 

 

Often times, Chinese Herbs and/or supplements are added in the treatment of systemic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis as an adjunct therapy to the acupuncture. 

 

See if acupuncture can help your arthritis pain 

 

Back pain comes in many shapes and sizes... From acute injuries to long term chronic conditions, from muscle tension to spinal fracture, and everything in between (and even beyond...). We can't easily put something so big as "back pain" into an easy box because every incidence is going to be different. 

BUT, in general, most back pain is cause by trauma - can be large like a car accident or smaller like falling down, poor ergonomics or poor posture, repetitive use, compensation from another injury, or systemic inflammation. 

Acupuncture and Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy (PIT) for back pain will help to reduce the inflammation and increase the circulation to the area of the back that is bothering you for some immediate relief as well as some general support. Acupuncture can also help to loosen tight, irritated muscles, break up adhesions and scar tissue, and release motor points to help get muscles to fire correctly. We will also go deeper to find the root cause of what is going on and develop a treatment plan to reverse as much damage as we can and to prevent further damage from occurring. 

No two cases are the same, so a good evaluation is necessary to develop an appropriate plan to treat back pain. 

See also: Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions that people seek acupuncture treatment for. It can present in many different ways. Click here to see more about acupuncture for low back pain.  

 

See if acupuncture can help your back pain

 

Acupuncture for Bursitis

A bursa is a tiny, slippery sac of fluid that provides a cushion and reduces friction between tissues like bone, muscle, tendons, and skin. They are found in many joints - between different tendons and between tendon and bone. 

These bursae (the plural of bursa) can become inflamed and cause a lot of pain! When the bursa is inflamed it causes "bursitis" of that joint. The bursa, whose purpose is to make things glide easily, when inflamed, will take up more room and press into other structures creating more inflammation and pain. (It can also lead to further joint damage).

A typical test for bursitis is if the joint pain gets worse with compression. For example, shoulder joint pain that gets worse when you squeeze the shoulder, or worse first thing in the morning when you wake up because you've slept on that side. 

Acupuncture and Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy (PIT) help bursitis by reducing the pain, reducing the inflammation, and relieving mechanical pressure on the bursa through targeted release of muscles and/or activation of muscles that haven't been firing correctly.

 

See if acupuncture can help your bursitis pain 

 

Chronic pain can be very complex. When a tissue is injured (acute pain), signaling between the Central Nervous System and the injured tissues occur for healing to take place. Essentially, the brain gets a message that there's a problem, so it sends an immune system response to clean up and fix the damage. The tissues get healed, then the body goes back to normal functioning. 

Unfortunately, this process doesn't always occur smoothly. Many things can interrupt this process, like repeated injuries to the same place, but sometimes it is a complex mixture of reasons or even unknown reasons why our bodies don't fully complete this process. 

Regardless of the reason, the main mechanism of most chronic pain is that the area has healed "enough" to where it is no longer sending a strong enough signal to the brain to stimulate an immune response, but the pain signals are still firing. In most cases, the brain needs a proprioceptor (location, movement) signal as well as a nociceptor (noxious signal - which creates the subjective experience of pain) to stimulate a healing response. In most chronic pain, the nociceptor signal is being fired enough to produce pain, but the proprioceptor signal is not enough, so the end result is pain but no healing. 

Acupuncture helps with chronic pain in a few ways. First, and foremost, it can help with reduction of the pain you're experiencing by raising the pain threshold and stimulating the release of your body's natural pain killers (endogenous opioids like endorphins) and anti-inflammatory substances. This will be a temporary effect and it will vary person to person. But where acupuncture really shines is its ability to get the body to go back and actually heal the area.  Well targeted acupuncture can stimulate the proprioceptor nerves to get that immune response to be stimulated again which will get your body back on track to healing the area. This can take several visits, and sometimes a long time - it depends on what caused the chronic pain in the first place. So we help reduce (and often eliminate) the pain while we are stimulating the body to heal the original trauma so that you can have lasting relief from your chronic pain.

See if acupuncture can help your chronic pain

 

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No one should have to endure the pain and discomfort which comes from musculoskeletal and neurological conditions that can be corrected. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness, or other symptoms, consult with your acupuncture specialists in downtown Seattle, at GoodMedizen. 

Image by Stephen Leonardi

Acupuncture for Headaches & Migraines

Acupuncture for headache and migraine relief is incredibly effective! Acupuncture can create instant headache relief - in most cases, if someone comes in with an active headache, they walk out headache free!

We are able to do this because acupuncture can relax the muscles and "quiet" the neuromuscular trigger, as well as regulate the blood vessel tone (vasodilation or vasoconstriction, depending on the headache type). This can have an immediate effect of pain and tension relief. Typically, if I can't get a headache to fully resolve on the table, then there is either dehydration that needs to be corrected, or something deeper causing the headache that we need to further explore. 

Aside from instant headache relief, acupuncture also helps to prevent headaches and reduce their frequency. How this works depends on the mechanisms at play with the individual and their headache presentation, but includes the neuromuscular trigger(s), muscle tension and/or weakness, vasovagal tone, and other contributors. 

 

see also:
1. acupuncture treatment for headache & migraine
2. blog: acupuncture: an effective treatment for chronic headache

See if acupuncture can help with your headaches!