25 Mar 2022
The Benefits of Combining Acupuncture with Physical Therapy
When you think of acupuncture, you don’t associate it with physical therapy and vice versa. The two are separate pain management and relaxation techniques with completely different protocols. However, the two modalities are often combined for optimal results. While they’re two distinct specialties and are often believed to be contrasting techniques, many trained physiotherapists use acupuncture as part of their treatment plans since it’s also a natural pain management approach. How do acupuncture and physical therapy work together, and what are the benefits of combining them? Let’s discuss this in more detail.
A Little About AcupunctureAcupuncture stems from ancient Chinese medicine and has been around for thousands of years. The technique focuses on holistic healing and uses thin and fine needles to activate the body’s trigger points. The minimally invasive technique is a popular treatment method for painful conditions such as backaches, muscle stiffness, joint soreness and discomfort, and other musculoskeletal conditions. The needles stimulate the nerve-rich areas within the body, triggering a natural healing response. This helps the body relax and heal.
Combining Acupuncture with Physical TherapySo, how does including a traditional practice such as acupuncture help in physical therapy? How does inserting needles into the body complement physiotherapy? Before it’s combined with physical therapy, the acupuncture technique is customized as per the patient’s specific needs. For instance, if you require physiotherapy for neck stiffness and back pain, the holistic healing approach will also address those specific issues. A thorough patient examination will be conducted to evaluate the condition and determine the most effective treatment strategy for each patient. Like with physiotherapy, acupuncture will also be performed over multiple sessions. You’ll be presented with a relaxing environment during the holistic healing process. Shortly after needles are inserted at the specific trigger points, your body will produce a natural healing response and release endorphins, helping you relax. This will also help reduce pain. Getting acupuncture treatment will prepare your body for the gentle exercises involved in physical therapy. Your body will be more flexible, relaxed, and comfortable and will respond more readily to physiotherapy. This will further help alleviate pain and discomfort. Acupuncture and physical therapy can be used together for various conditions, such as:
- Frozen shoulder
- Upper and lower back pain
- Neck pain
The Benefits of Using AcupunctureNow that we’ve established that acupuncture can be effectively combined with physical therapy for treating various medical conditions, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of acupuncture.
Improved CirculationWhen fine needles are inserted at the body’s pressure points, they help improve the blood flow. Acupuncture allows for a greater amount of nitric oxide to be present in the body, which relaxes the blood vessels and enables them to transport nutrients and oxygen more efficiently. As a result, the overall blood circulation improves. The organs and tissues are supplied nutrients more efficiently and can operate optimally.
Pain ReliefAcupuncture needles also help release endorphins, which are the body’s “happy hormones”. When the needles are inserted at strategic pressure points, they stimulate the body to release endorphins. This helps the body relax and relieves the pain. This is also why acupuncture is considered to be a natural alternative to painkillers. It helps minimise joint, muscle, or tissue inflammation via the body’s natural response, and improves the range of motion.
Injury Prevention & TreatmentMany people opt for acupuncture to treat painful injuries. As discussed above, acupuncture provides natural pain relief and improves blood flow, helping the body heal. It also helps in reducing fatigue within the body, setting it up for a quicker recovery. The knots in the muscles loosen up, alleviating pain and making the symptoms more manageable. A lesser-known advantage of acupuncture is that it also helps in preventing injuries. If you opt for frequent acupuncture sessions, your body is more likely to function optimally. The tissues, muscles, and joints improve their movement patterns, which helps prevent common injuries. This is why acupuncture is so highly recommended to athletes.
Parting WordsAcupuncture has plenty of health benefits. In addition to treating musculoskeletal conditions, it also improves sleep, eases anxiety, and enhances your overall health and wellbeing. This makes acupuncture a highly useful modality in pain management. Many trained physiotherapists use acupuncture as part of their physical therapy treatment plans to aid the healing process and speed up recovery. When combined with the therapeutic exercises in physical therapy, acupuncture helps improve pain, discomfort, range of motion, and function.
Physical Therapy & Acupuncture Services in EdmontonAt Boost Physiotherapy, we offer comprehensive physical therapy services for pain. Our trained physiotherapists specialise in the pain management modalities needed to alleviate discomfort, and use the best physical therapy strategies to treat injuries and other causes of pain. We also incorporate acupuncture in our treatment plans as and when needed. Get in touch with our trained physiotherapists in Edmonton for specialised physiotherapy services in the area. Book an appointment now!
Acupuncture, Ims, Massage, pelvic floor physiotherapy, Physiotherapist
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