Acupuncture for Pain Relief following Surgery


Controlling postoperative pain caused by surgical trauma is challenging for both healthcare providers and patients – acupuncture for pain relief can be a viable solution says Samantha Jacobs from Fairfield County Acupuncture. Opioid analgesics are frequently used to address postoperative pain; however, these drugs are associated with risky side effects. Acupuncture on the other hand is virtually side effect free.

Opioids vs. Acupuncture for Pain Relief

The use of opioids is the more broadly accepted way to deal with postoperative pain, but the pain relieving benefits of these pharmaceuticals come with a multitude of side effects that range from nausea to addiction. Fortunately, acupuncture is progressively emerging as an effective alternative and ancillary treatment of postoperative pain. Acupuncture can also reduce the side effects of opioids and jump-start the body’s natural components of recovery.

A Duke University study demonstrated that acupuncture not only reduced the post-operative pain but also lessened the need for pain medication. During the study Duke University anesthesiologists analyzed data gathered from more than 15 tests and found that, for the best possible results, acupuncture treatments should be administered both before and after surgery. Acupuncture can also reduce the effects resulting from opioids if taken. Routinely cited for having virtually no negative side effects itself, more and more doctors are embracing acupuncture’s many benefits and advocating its inclusion when it comes to postoperative care.

Where Traditional Pain Management Falls Short

When you’re in pain, the nerves transmit the information to your brain and spinal cord by releasing neurotransmitters. Opioids function by binding to neurotransmitter receptors, blocking the nervous system, keeping it from sending and receiving these chemical related messages. Unfortunately, popular opioids like oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine also have undesirable side effects that include drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting and itchiness.

Other Postoperative Side Effects

The consequences of surgery frequently include prolonged hospitalization, immobility, lingering pain and other types of discomfort. It can also have negative effects on immunity, sleep patterns and other attempts made by your body to heal itself and return to its normal state. Acupuncture for pain relief has the ability to help you recover faster. Rest and sleep are crucial when it comes to recovering from surgery. Acupuncture will help relax so that you can sleep better.

How Acupuncture for Pain Relief Helps

With its long history as an effective nausea reducer, muscle relaxant and painkiller, acupuncture is a logical substitute or an accompaniment to traditional postoperative treatment methods. Research has shown that acupuncture can not only reduce pain directly, but when used along with opioids, it can decrease a patient’s dependence on them overall, lowering dosages and the amount of time required to take the drugs following surgery.

Beyond pain relief, the benefits of acupuncture for postoperative patients are frequently reported as cumulative and holistic, reducing stress before and after surgery. Acupuncture can also help boost the immune system during extended hospital stays, as well as minimize the side effects of opioids. Acupuncture has even been shown to help reduce external and internal scarring.

If you’re preparing for surgery, are suffering from postoperative pain, or just want to decrease your reliance on opioids, consider acupuncture for pain relief.

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