Acupuncture electro stimulation joint pain

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

The goal of treatment for arthritis-related joint pain is to first make an accurate diagnosis, then to limit pain and inflammation, while ensuring optimal joint function.

Each treatment plan designed by a physician should be specifically tailored to the individual's type of arthritis, as well as the severity of the condition.

The bottom line though is to help relieve a patient's pain.

Acupuncture is the use of thin needles that are inserted at specific "meridien" points on the body. Acupuncture literally means "needle piercing." Acupuncture may work by stimulating the release of natural, pain-relieving chemicals produced by the brain or nervous system.

The theory among holistic practitioners is that acupuncture also balances the movement of energy in the body.

When it is practiced by a qualified person, acupuncture is generally safe.

The most common use of acupuncture is to treat muscle and joint pain. The technique is often applied for arthritis, back pain, sports injuries, and other similar problems.

Every acupuncture treatment begins with four types of examinations. These are:

• Asking. The acupuncturist first asks an individual about his or her general health.
• Looking. The practitioner will then note the person's appearance, posture, skin coloration, and tongue.

• Listening. Next, he or she will listen to the individual's breathing patterns, speech, and tone of voice.

• Smelling and touching. The last and most important of the examination involves touching the person's skin and taking an accurate pulse.

In essence, the acupuncturist is providing a "medical exam."

To receive a treatment, the person lies down on a table. Very fine, sterile, stainless steel needles are inserted into the skin at the relevant points. Because the needles are thin, they do not cause significant bleeding. Other techniques can also be used as to enhance acupuncture treatment. These include:

• A small electric current to stimulate specific points

• A small tool to produce an infrared low power (cold) laser beam

• Burning of herbs to warm and stimulate energy (moxibustion)

• Ultrasound

A person may feel a pinprick sensation which is followed by a tingling or numbness when the needles are inserted. The type of sensation depends on the point being treated and the depth to which the needle is inserted. Needles can be inserted and removed right away or they may also be left in place for up to a half hour. The length of treatment depends on the type of medical problem. The length of time until pain relief occurs varies with individual.

Some people feel no different after treatment. Others report feeling sleepy or a little groggy.

Any indication of infection at the sites where the needles were inserted should be reported to the practitioner. Signs of infection include:

• redness
• swelling
• heat
• pain

A "modern" form of acupuncture to provide temporary relief of pain is the use of a small transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) device that directs mild, electrical pulses to nerve endings beneath the skin in the painful joint area. TENS blocks pain messages to the brain and modifies pain perception.

TENS may be applied several times a day for 20 minutes to several hours, depending on the severity of the pain. The TENS device produces a tingling sensation. Most people tolerate the therapy well, but its effectiveness varies.

Get more information about acupuncture electrostimulation joint pain and other issues as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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