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Headaches and neck pain: Acupuncture can help

A headache is a pain in the head due to a cause. Headaches may result from any number of factors, including tension, muscle contraction, vascular problems, withdrawal from certain medications, injury or a joint restriction.

Headaches fall into three main categories: tension-type, migraine and cervicogenic. Tension-type headaches are the most frequent. People who endure tension-type headaches usually feel mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. The pain is usually described as tight, stiff or constricting, as if something is being wrapped around your head and squeezed tightly.

While migraines affect far fewer people and have a much shorter duration, however, their symptoms are much more severe. They typically affect women more frequently, with pain that usually occurs on one side of the head. Migraines can be so severe that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea and even vomiting.

Cervicogenic headaches are the most recently diagnosed type of headache and are caused by muscle or joint issues. They may be caused by pain in the neck or spine that is transferred to the head.

What can acupuncture do for headaches?

Acupuncture, as an effective treatment modality, has been very successful in treating the imbalance in the body that leads to these types of headaches. The placement of very fine thread like needles into specific areas throughout the body leads to a rebalancing that helps to rid the body of the pain.

Acupuncture is not only effective for migraine headaches, but also works very well with tension headaches, cluster headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and disease-related headaches that might be due to sinus problems, high blood pressure or sleeping disorders.

A great advantage of acupuncture is that it does virtually no harm. I have observed with patients that as few as four to five treatments rid the body of the pain from the headache and allow the patient to be headache free for months if not years. Occasionally there may be supportive treatments once or twice a year to resolve long standing issues or a flare up, those typically on take one or two treatments.

The results are simply amazing seeing a patient come in with a lot of pain and pressure then after treatment with a few acupuncture points they walk out feeling great with little to no pain left. If you suffer from headaches call and make an appointment, why suffer any longer.

Tingling, Painful or Numb Hands: Simple effective care with long term results.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is an injury caused by a pinched or compressed nerve typically in the wrist but may be associated with the forearm or the neck. The prolonged compression of this nerve, in any of the three spots mentioned causes pain and numbness in the fingers and the hand. An accurate and thorough physical examination and history can save time and money by finding the cause of the symptoms and prevent surgery on a ligament that is not the cause. A person with this condition may have night/daytime tingling in the hands, disturbed sleep as a result, the fingers may feel useless, a sense of swelling in the fingers or hand when none is visible, loss of strength in the hand over time, and pain shooting up the arm as far as the neck or shoulder. Many CTS symptoms are related to the compression further up the nerve tract in the forearm or in to the neck not directly in the wrist.

It is often observed that the actual carpal tunnel is not the culprit of the pain and symptoms. A major contributor is the pronator teres. It is a little muscle in the forearm that rotates the wrist in to the typing position. While holding this position for hours on end, the muscle begins to enlarge and compress the median nerve which runs through this muscle causing the symptoms. Often associated with the tightness of the pronator teres is a restriction in movement of the elbow or wrist joints. These issues can be corrected with trigger point/massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic adjusting of the restricted movement and muscle tension. In many cases I have observed a dual compression issue with patients I see who have these symptoms. Their neck and upper back are also extremely tight which leads to the nerves being compressed or pinched in both the neck and forearm.

Numerous research studies has shown that a combination of chiropractic, acupuncture and a home care program alleviate the symptoms and correct the underlying cause of the problems which prevents surgery. These therapies decrease the compression on the nerve at the various points of injury  which eliminates the symptoms and corrects the underlying imbalances. If you suffer from hand pain or have been diagnosed with CTS give us a call. If we can help we will, if we can’t, we can guide you through the recovery phase after surgery with acupuncture to speed healing.