Hope for Relieving & Managing Pain for Veterans & Seniors Via Acupuncture

Hope for Relieving & Managing Pain for Veterans & Seniors Via Acupuncture

The good news today is that many insurance plans are now covering Acupuncture. The Veterans Administration (VA) started using Acupuncture in 2018 to treat Veterans with severe pain.  The VA replaced morphine with acupuncture to help manage pain and to deal with the addiction epidemic amongst veterans. After great success, many other insurance companies started offering acupuncture coverage in their healthcare plans. In early 2020, Medicare began to cover acupuncture as an alternative to prescription medications for low chronic back pain.  

Every day, more people are discovering the benefits of acupuncture, which include both pain relief and pain management. Americans are discovering how Acupuncture can help the body with all kinds of ailments, including back pain. Thin acupuncture needles inserted in the skin to help balance and restore the body’s energy flow of the meridians. Qi is the life force energy of the body and when it flows easier through the meridian system, true healing begins.   

During your acupuncture session, a highly skilled acupuncturist will treat your pain and address other imbalances in your body. Often people who receive acupuncture experience increased endorphins that help relieve pain, improve mood and overall health, while reducing stress. Your brain releases endorphins to block the nerve cells that receive the pain signals. This signal turns off your pain response. Acupuncture can allow you to function pain free, while performing daily activities.  

Chronic pain affects one third of the U.S. population and is one of the primary reasons Americans apply for disability. Older adults tend to suffer more from chronic pain, as they are more likely to have:  

  • chronic diseases  
  • inflammation  
  • develop musculoskeletal disorders  
  • neuropathies from diabetes  
  • surgeries 

What is “Chronic” Pain?

back pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists beyond the expected time of healing, typically 12 weeks (3 months or more) and may or may not be associated with an identifiable cause or actual tissue damage.   

The most communally used treatment to manage chronic pain are drugs. Given the many problems drugs can create, it is no wonder insurance companies are now paying for acupuncture treatments.  

Common Over the counter (OTC) pain medicines include aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and Acetaminophen. They all work in different ways and for different issues, and if taken frequently can cause harmful side effects.  

Prescribed narcotic pain medication including opioids are used for severe pain when other painkillers fail to work. Pain medications can be effective at reducing pain however, they can be very addicting and can have many unpleasant side effects. Opioid overdose is also a major risk when taken for longer periods. Common names for frequently prescribed pain medications include codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, oxycodone, tramadol.  

Opioids work by blocking pain signals sent from the brain to the body, releasing large amounts of dopamine throughout the body.  Dopamine helps mask the pain and makes us feel good. Anyone suffering from mental health issues such anxiety, depression, or disorders including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), should be mindful when taking medications as they can be addictive.    

Abuse of narcotic medications have been known to cause slowed breathing, which can result in hypoxia and death. Hypoxia is low levels of oxygen in the bodies tissues and can be life-threatening. Adverse reactions to pain medications also include confusion, restlessness, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, and chronic constipation.  

If you suffer from chronic lower back pain…

Call us for an appointment today:

Fax (602)307-1002


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