Why Your Physiotherapist Has Recommended Acupuncture Treatment

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Physiotherapy utilises many different techniques to deliver an effective treatment plan that helps to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, aid tissue healing and provide lasting results for patients.

Some of the many well-used techniques applied by physiotherapists to treat patients include things like supported movement and stretches, pain education, hands-on massage or manipulation and therapeutic exercises.

What a lot of people aren’t aware of, is that another treatment widely used by experienced physiotherapists is acupuncture. Whilst this might come as a surprise, acupuncture is a proven method of treating pain that when combined with other physiotherapy methods can help to boost the patient’s outcome and deliver favourable results.

With guidance and advice from experts in acupuncture treatment in Chelmsford, here we provide some helpful insight into why your physiotherapist might recommend acupuncture and the many benefits it can provide.

What is Acupuncture?

Originating in China over 3,000 years ago, acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) which is based on the flow of energy (Qi) that circulates the body through channels and in certain patterns, connecting the surface of the body and the internal organs.

The purpose of acupuncture according to TCM is that by inserting small, thin needles into specific points on the body, they can change the energy flows that cause disease, disability and pain.

Evolving from TCM, Western medicine has developed effective methods of acupuncture based on science including physiology, anatomy and pathology, bringing it up to date in a way that can be used by modern health professionals. It has now become one of the many tools used alongside physiotherapy as an integrated approach that works to stimulate the body’s own healing chemicals to manage pain and inflammation, enhance rehabilitation and aid recovery.

What Can Acupuncture Be Used to Treat?

If your physiotherapist has suggested acupuncture, then it is likely that there is something going on within your body that they believe can be helped by using this treatment, which is often in addition to other physiotherapy methods.

Some of the many conditions that acupuncture can be used to treat include:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Back pain
  • Muscle injuries
  • Post-surgical pain

Acupuncture treatment can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual patient to address their unique requirements and concerns, delivering a personalised approach to your well-being.

What Happens During Acupuncture Treatment?

Because it involves needles, it is understandable that some patients might feel nervous or apprehensive about undergoing acupuncture treatment so here is a brief explanation of what your treatment might entail.

  • Your physiotherapist or acupuncturist will assess your needs during an appointment or consultation to create an effective treatment plan including the placement of the needles and the areas to focus on.
  • The needles used for acupuncture are extremely thin and inserted just under the skin or slightly deeper, so they reach the muscle.
  • Whilst you might feel them initially, it shouldn’t be painful, and a lot of patients actually find the treatment very relaxing.
  • These needles stay in place for the required amount of time which can be anywhere from a few minutes to 30 minutes.
  • The needles will then be removed and disposed of safely, and you will be allowed to rest for 5-10 minutes before moving about.

What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture?

Everybody responds to acupuncture differently, but it can be incredibly beneficial, especially when carried out alongside other physiotherapy techniques and by a qualified expert. Here are a few of the many benefits that can be gained by patients undergoing acupuncture treatment;

  • Pain relief
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced muscle spasms
  • Faster healing and repair
  • Less swelling and inflammation
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased flexibility
  • Promotes the release of endorphins for better overall mood
  • Reduced joint stiffness