Acupuncture for Nerve Pain and Nerve DamageYou may suddenly be struggling with inexplicable nerve pain that is difficult to stop. You may have experienced an accident, disease, or other factor that left you with acute or chronic nerve pain or nerve damage.

These are serious health concerns because nerves do not grow back once they have died and nerve pain or damage may be the beginning of just that.

Conventional medicine approaches nerve pain as it does many other ailments, by prescribing drugs and surgery. Although these approaches offer “fixes” (many of them temporary) the main cause is rarely targeted.

Traditional medicine looks at the whole individual and by using acupuncture for nerve pain and nerve damage may be able to avoid harsh pharmaceuticals or invasive surgery.

In addition, a naturopathic doctor may also offer a variety of peripheral remedies such as botanical medicine and homeopathy. Botanical medicine incorporates natural herbal remedies and homeopathy works with a like-cures-like approach, both having the potential to alleviate nerve related conditions.

Types of Nerves and Their Pain Symptoms

There are three different types of nerves. Each type can present painful symptoms at any time for a variety of reasons. Much nerve pain comes from a continued action such as daily computer keyboard use, sports activity or in-line factory work. This is called Repetitive Use Syndrome (RUS). Nerve damage examples of RUS can be carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or sciatica.

Other factors that may play a role in nerve pain or nerve damage include: trauma, disease, medication, or a congenital predisposition.

The three types of nerves and their specific symptoms that may indicate nerve pain or nerve damage are:

Autonomic nerves – These nerves control various systemic activities, including heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature control.

Nerve Disorder Symptoms:

• Inability to sense chest pain, such as angina or heart attack
• Too much sweating or too little sweating
• Lightheadedness
• Dry eyes and mouth
• Constipation
• Bladder dysfunction
• Sexual dysfunction

Motor nerves – These nerves control information transfer from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles resulting in movement.

Nerve Disorder Symptoms:

• Weakness
• Muscle atrophy
• Twitching
• Paralysis

Sensory nerves – These nerves process and deliver skin and muscle sensations (such as pain or temperature fluctuation) back to your spinal cord and brain.

Nerve Disorder Symptoms:

• Pain
• Sensitivity
• Numbness
• Tingling
• Burning
• Balance and positioning challenges

Acupuncture for Peripheral Neuropathy (PN)

Motor and sensory nerves are part of the peripheral nervous system. It is estimated that 1 out of 50 Americans suffer from some form of peripheral nerve damage. Acupuncture has shown significantly positive results when being applied to PN.

Autonomic nerve challenges are less of a factor, however acupuncture can be applied to these as well.

In a study conducted by researchers at the Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany it was reported in the Abstract that,

“One hundred and ninety-two consecutive patients with PN [peripheral neuropathy] as diagnosed by nerve conduction studies (NCS) were evaluated over a period of 1 year. Of 47 patients who met the criteria for PN of undefined etiology, 21 patients received acupuncture therapy according to classical Chinese Medicine as defined by the Heidelberg Model, while 26 patients received the best medical care but no specific treatment for PN. Sixteen patients (76%) in the acupuncture group improved symptomatically and objectively as measured by NCS, while only four patients in the control group (15%) did so.” (European Journal of Neurology 3/14/07)

Medically Induced PN

Acupuncture has shown to improve PN symptoms as a result of severe nerve pain associated with cancer treatment. Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can be a side effect of the medicinal cocktails containing taxanes, vinca alkaloids, or platinum compounds.

Results of a small study addressing CIPN published in the British Medical Journal showed that,

“In those given acupuncture, both the speed and the intensity of the nerve signaling improved in five out of the six patients. And these same patients said their condition had improved.” (Science Daily 12/6/11)

CCM Acupuncture: Using Nature’s Clues

Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) uses observations through nature to determine the potential cause for various ailments, including nerve damage. When a particular presentation or a combination of such occurs as a person’s constitution, an acupuncturist trained in CCM can better assess the proper treatment.

An example of how this may be approached is as follows (Acupuncture Well:

Wind – For damage presenting as muscle twitching, spasm, uncontrolled movement or stiffness.
Damp – For damage resulting in tingling, dull or severe achy pain, swelling, or quick fatigue.
Cold – For damage that is worse seasonally, with sharp & throbbing pain, and muscle and sinew contraction.
Phlegm – For damage resulting in numbness and growths.

Acupuncture for nerve pain and nerve damage may be the best choice for relief and possibly reversal of nerve symptoms. The remedy protocol for acupuncture treatment could require one to two visits per week for anywhere from three to six weeks. Depending on the severity of the nerve related syndrome, the protocol could be shorter or longer.

In some cases, conventional approaches may offer more rapid results, however by using acupuncture, the ability for the body to naturally heal itself offers the potential for a more permanent recovery without invasive procedures.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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