Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate nerve endings and improve the flow of energy, or Qi.
When it comes to postoperative pain, several researchers have suggested that acupuncture can be an effective treatment. Authors of one meta-analysis of 39 randomized controlled trials found that acupuncture was more effective than placebo in reducing postoperative pain and decreasing the need for pain medication (1).
In addition, acupuncture has been found to have few side effects, making it a safe and viable option for many patients. It may also have other benefits, such as reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation, which can help with pain management. Patients may also opt for treatment prior to the surgery to help manage pre-operative pain so post-operative pain is more tolerable.
It's worth noting, however, that while acupuncture can be a helpful adjunct to traditional pain management approaches, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment when necessary.
Dr. Salmond has had great success treating patients with acupuncture for postoperative pain, typically helping patients to avoid long term opioid use. Call our Berlin, Maryland office to see if you are a candidate for acupuncture for your postoperative pain.
(1) Wu MS, Chen KH, Chen IF, Huang SK, Tzeng PC, Yeh ML, Lee FP, Lin JG, Chen C. The Efficacy of Acupuncture in Post-Operative Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 9;11(3):e0150367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150367. PMID: 26959661; PMCID: PMC4784927.