Milwaukee Podiatrist Explains Acupuncture & Neuropathy
By Milwaukee Foot & Ankle Specialists of Milwaukee, WI
Last week, we began talking about alternative treatments available to our patients in chronic pain. A discussion about alternative treatment would not nearly be complete without a brief look into Acupuncture therapy. Even if having someone stick needles into you at different points around your body doesn’t sound like a pleasant time – if you are in chronic pain from neuropathy, this timeless treatment may be exactly what you need.
Acupuncture therapy is a form of medical treatment that dates back to ancient China. The belief used in the practice of acupuncture is that placing needles at special points on a patient’s body will alter the patient’s Qi (pronounced “chee”), or energy, and return the body to a healthy balance. Though to some this may sound like Voodoo magic, there is evidence to support that acupuncture therapy has an appropriate use in modern medicine. Current theorists state that when an acupuncture needle is placed it will trigger a sensory nerve to fire and send a message to the central nervous system (your brain and spinal cord). This can cause the central nervous system to release chemicals called endorphins which are the bodies naturally occurring pain killers. With the appropriate type and amount of treatments for each patient, acupuncture may actually train your body to respond to pain in a new way and alleviate some of the chronic symptoms of neuropathic pain.
Of course many patients are intimidated by trying a new type of therapy. However, there is no need to be! If you are interested in trying acupuncture therapy, it is important to know that there are over 16,000 licensed acupuncturists in the United States. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) actually recognizes over forty different health issues as treatable by acupuncture therapy. Lastly, the United States Food and Drug Administration oversees the production of acupuncture needles, as they would other medical devices, to ensure their sterility and safety. All of these things should help you feel more comfortable about giving acupuncture therapy a try.
As with any treatment, acupuncture therapy is not for everyone. If you are fearful of needles, this may not be the course of therapy for you (though these are much smaller needles than typical injections and hurt much less). It is important to keep in mind also that one treatment may not be enough. It is recommended that a patient undergo 5-10 treatments before they judge if the therapy has been beneficial. In the end, if you are in chronic pain, acupuncture may be the light at the end of the tunnel that you have been looking for!
At Milwaukee Foot and Ankle Specialists, we have the most cutting edge and innovative technology available. By having digital scanning technology for orthotics, digital X-rays, digital diagnostic ultrasound, laser for removal of toenail fungus & more all in office and available in a moments notice allows you to save time and money.
We look forward to helping you!