Chronic pain

Pain is chronic if it lasts longer than the usual course of an acute injury. Typical conditions in which chronic pain occurs are: arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, shoulder and neck pain, headache and migraine, pain in (the treatment of) cancer, fibromyalgia, nerve pain such as sciatica, facial pain, Herpes Zoster pain, chronic overload such as tendonitis, irritable bowel syndrome, cystitis and endometriosis. In some people, chronic pain leads to depression.

In recent years, several large, well-designed studies have been conducted into the effect of acupuncture in chronic pain. Recent research has shown it to be effective in chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, headache, migraine and post-operative pain. Less research is available on other forms of chronic pain, but in summary, there is sufficient evidence that acupuncture can help with chronic pain.

In the treatment of chronic pain, many therapists will use other traditional Chinese medicine in addition to acupuncture. For example, the massage forms tuina and shiatsu, movement via qi gong to build up energy or moxa to make tight tissue supple again, to help the blood flow and thus restore the supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells. Some therapists use herbs to help the body regain balance.

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