Chronic Illness Pain

nerve painThe American Pain Society estimates that 45 % of the population seeks medical help for chronic pain at some point in their lives. Chronic pain is currently the most common cause of long-term disability. It can also have significant psychological and emotional effects as it may limit a person’s ability to function properly.

Nerve pain

Neuralgia/neuropathy

Neuralgia is pain of a nerve or several nerves. Neuropathy is a disease or disorder, especially a degenerative one, that affects the nervous system. Symptoms are related to the type of affected nerve and can include muscle weakness, painful cramps, uncontrolled muscle twitching, and changes in the skin, hair, and nails.

Shingles

Shingles is a type of neuralgia caused by the same virus as chickenpox. If it becomes active again, it causes pain and a band of rash that spreads on one side of the body.



Treatment

As with other painful diseases, acupuncture can decrease and/or eliminate pain while herbs and foods can be used to rebalance the body.

Reported in Diabetic Research and Clinical Practice, 46 diabetic patients suffering from painful peripheral neuropathy who were already receiving standard treatment were given acupuncture over a period of 10 weeks. At the end of the study, 34 of them (77%) showed significant improvement with 21% able to stop their medication completely

Other Diseases

Fibromyalgia

Sometimes called fibrositis, fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissues. It is also associated with sleep problems and fatigue.

“Acupuncture clearly can help lots of chronic pain issues, including fibromyalgia.”
–Don L. Goldenberg, MD, 
chief of rheumatology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston

Multiple Sclerosis

MS is a serious chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system. The nerves of the brain and spinal cord are injured by the body’s own immune system. Symptoms include muscle weakness or spasticity, decreased coordination, vision problems, eye pain, pain, and difficulty controlling urination.



Treatment

Both fibromyalgia and MS are diseases whose symptoms vary widely from person to person. Because TCM relies on its own diagnostic system, it is well suited to treat these ailments as it will treat each person according to their constitution, symptoms, and medical history.

 

¹ Diabetes Res Clin Pract 39(2): 115-21 Feb 1998