As spring sets in with all its sunshine and glory, many of you will probably find yourselves outside more frequently. Whether it’s riding bikes, hiking, or watching the horse races in Lexington, warm weather beckons us from the homes we’ve been cooped up in all winter. Unfortunately, more activity can sometimes mean more opportunities to hurt yourself, especially if you overdo it.
Say you are playing basketball and drive hard to the basket, twisting your pivot ankle. Or imagine you’re playing golf for the first time this season, and when you wake up in the morning you can’t move your shoulder. Maybe your child hurts their neck at soccer practice and can’t look to either side. In all of these cases, most people’s first reaction is to treat the pain with some combination of ice, pain medication, and/or a trip to the doctor. While a home treatment of Ibuprofen and ice can sometimes clear up the issue quickly, many times further intervention is required. In our culture, this often means a prescription for pain medication or muscle relaxers.
Pain meds and muscle relaxants do have their place in healthcare. However, these drugs only cover up the discomfort of an acute injury instead of actually promoting healing. They also come with a large number of side effects, some of which include: blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, dry mouth, sweating and itching. Sounds fun, huh? Fortunately, there is a natural solution to acute pain that has virtually no side effects and works in a matter of seconds (yes, seconds!).
Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for various types of acute pain, including: acute dental pain, frozen shoulder, acute low back pain, whiplash, etc. One of the reasons acupuncture is so effective is that it can do what typical pain medications can not: increase blood flow to the affected area. Add to that acupuncture’s ability to calm muscle spasms, decrease pain signals from the nervous system, and cause relaxation of the body and you have a perfect recipe for pain relief. It works very quickly, too. Typically needles are not used in the area of acute pain, but rather in places like the ear, hands and feet. A well-trained acupuncturist can increase range of motion and decrease pain by at least 50% with the insertion of only 1-4 needles.
Next time you or a loved one suffers from a bout of acute pain, give us a call at 859-475-6841. We’d love to help get you out of pain faster than you ever thought possible!