Acupuncture Can Be Helpful For Heel Pain

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Plantar fasciitis is a common condition for which definitive treatment guidelines vary depending on what triggered the condition. Acupuncture offers pain relief and in some studies has shown to provide long-term relief. While 80 percent of heel pain will resolve without treat, the remaining 20 percent can become chronic as cause issues in the knee, hip and low back. 

Overall, studies report significant benefits with acupuncture for patients. One associated acupuncture with significant improvement in pain and function when combined with standard treatment protocols. The researchers concluded there was enough evidence to support the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of plantar heel pain.

While acupuncture can be of benefit, addressing the underlying cause is essential. Many sufferers have chronically tight calf muscles. Daily stretching can reduce symptoms as well as prevent recurrence. Using a golf ball to roll the bottom of the feet can help break up scar tissue and adhesions related to foot dysfunction. Icing the foot for 15 minutes using a frozen water bottle can be beneficial as well.

Using custom orthotics can assist in supporting arches that have fallen. Like the stretched out waistband of an old pair of underwear, once the ligaments of the foot are stretched, they will never regain their elasticity and require continued support.

To mend heel pain and keep it at bay, follow these simple recommendations:

  • Stretch your calves daily
  • Wear supportive shoes
  • Avoid walking around in bare feet
  • Wear a night splint
  • Visit a doctor that can evaluate your need for orthotic support

If you continue to suffer from symptoms, try acupuncture before you resort to surgery.

See my video on Plantar Fascitis if you’d like to learn more:

Tailbone Pain During Pregnancy Resolved With Acupuncture

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Pregnancy is such an exciting time in life. The hopes and dreams of a beautiful baby entering this world fills the expecting family with joy. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of pain and misery for the expectant mom. Many changes occur during pregnancy in a very short time period, placing tremendous stress on the body. These include both hormonal changes as well as structural changes to the spine and pelvis.

The combination of hormones to loosen the ligaments in preparation for delivery along with the weight gain and shift in center of gravity associated with a growing baby can result in debilitating pain. A common source of this pain is the coccyx, otherwise known as the tailbone. This small bone is attached to the sacrum, the triangular bone that sits between your hips and creates the foundation of the spine. The coccyx is held to the sacrum through a variety of muscles and ligaments. As noted, these ligaments are the target of hormones that make them stretchy, resulting in pain.

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As a physician that practices holistic healing, that is, allowing the body to heal itself, recommending medication or surgery are always my last resort. When it comes to pregnancy, the use of medication is even more concerning. So what is a woman to do, simply suffer through the pain?  Enter acupuncture!

Over the years I have had the opportunity to help many people resolve their pain safely and effectively through acupuncture. This includes tailbone pain, also known as coccydynia. Although many of these people suffered a traumatic fall while others had no specific incident that they could blame, most responded extremely well to acupuncture. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal:

Acupuncture and stabilising exercises constitute efficient complements to standard treatment for the management of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture was superior to stabilizing exercises in this study.

Sue came to me 18 weeks pregnant. While the pregnancy itself was going very well, about three weeks prior to seeing me she began to suffer from severe tailbone pain. She noted it was a 10 on a 1-10 scale of severity. She worked as an administrative assistant, sitting for most of the day which further exacerbated her symptoms. By early afternoon, she could barely do her job as the pain became unbearable.

When she came to see me, we discussed the benefits of acupuncture. While a bit hesitant, she was willing to give it a try as desperation had set in. After a week of treatment her pain was significantly decreased. She was able to sit through the day, although still experienced some soreness by days end (I reminded her that she was still pregnant!).

In my experience, acupuncture can provide miraculous results very quickly and fortunately this was the case for Sue. What’s most exciting for me is providing my pregnant moms safe and effective relief without medication. Sue now sees me on an as needed basis and we both look forward to the delivery of her baby this coming fall!

Reduce Inflammation Without Medication Using Acupuncture

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You may have heard that acupuncture helps with pain, but did you know if actually helps resolve inflammation? Many people either take over the counter pain medication (including aspirin and ibuprofen) or prescription medication (such as Voltaren or Celebrex) for pain. The common connection with these medications is they work by reducing inflammation.

Unfortunately, they also come with potentially significant side effects. These include:

  • heartburn
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness

Inflammation is not a bad thing. It has been demonized as the big bad wolf. Here is the key, inflammation is not bad, excess or chronic inflammation is bad. The inflammatory process is essential for health and healing. It helps clear out debris while drawing in vital nutrients necessary for repair.

Excessive inflammation leads to pain and dysfunction. So the key is to turn down the inflammation while allowing the body to heal. How can this be done with medication? It’s virtually impossible because every injury is unique. However, acupuncture simply dials in the optimal levels to stimulate  healing and reduce pain. According to researchers:

Acupuncture literally flips a switch wherein initial inflammatory responses are reduced and the secondary healing responses are promoted.

M1 macrophage downregulation and M2 macrophage upregulation triggered by acupuncture was positively associated with reductions in muscle pain and inflammation.

Next time you injure yourself, instead of reaching for the Ibuprofen, find natural relief with acupuncture.

Acupuncture Proves Effective For Knee Arthritis

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Knee pain related to arthritis is quite common, particularly as we age. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative,”wear-and-tear” type of arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years of age and older, but may occur in younger people, too. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away.

Conventional treatment generally includes pain medication and anti-inflammatories. While they can be beneficial, long term use can result in serious side effects including kidney and liver damage. Even short term side effects of these medications can be significant and include: upset stomach, mild heartburn, nausea, vomiting; bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, headache, nervousness, mild itching or rash, and ringing in your ears. Thank you, but I’d rather pass.

What if I told you there was a treatment that was both safe and effective for arthritis of the knees. What if I also told you this treatment has been tested clinically for thousands of years. Since you are reading this, the obvious answer is found in acupuncture.

In a study by researchers from the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture received five times a week for four weeks significantly reduced pain and improved stiffness in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

More than 550 patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis took part in the 26-week trial. The participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or self-help strategies recommended by the Arthritis Foundation (the latter served as a control group).

In another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, significant differences in response were seen by week eight and fourteen, and at the end of the trial, the group receiving real acupuncture had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function compared to baseline assessments — a 33 percent difference in improvement over the sham group. They note:

Acupuncture seems to provide improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee when compared with credible sham acupuncture and education control groups.

Most exciting to me is the fact that acupuncture, when used to treat chronic knee pain, has been shown to provide relief for months after treatment has ended. In one particular study, patients still noted relief 12 weeks later.

From this systematic review, we conclude that acupuncture may be effective at relieving chronic knee pain 12 weeks after acupuncture administration, based on the current evidence and our protocol.

As the detrimental side effects of pain medication continue to mount, patients as well as medical doctors are seeking safe alternatives. Acupuncture has proven be both safe and effective when it comes to the treatment of arthritis related pain.

 

 

Got Pain? Research Shows Acupuncture and Chiropractic Top Opioids.

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It is likely that you are aware of the fact that we have an opioid crisis. The increase in opioid overdose deaths has been dramatic, and opioids are now responsible for 49,000 of the 72,000 drug overdose deaths overall in the US in 2017. Below is an alarming statistic when it comes to opioids. Have you or a friend or family member been prescribed opioids for pain? If so, please read on to discover safe and natural alternatives.

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Federal officials cite the rising numbers of drug overdose deaths in pushing for changes in policy direction and public perception. Most drug overdose deaths (more than six in ten) involve opioids, according to the CDC. The number of overdose deaths have increased fourfold since 1999. More than a half million people have died from drug overdoses from 2000 to 2015. Opioid overdoses kill 91 Americans every day.

One of the major issues with opioids or pain medication in general is the fact that they are merely treating symptoms. If your smoke alarm were going off, would you pull out the battery or find the cause of the smoke? By altering brain chemistry, medications simply block pain signals (like pulling out the battery). Unfortunately, over time the body becomes accustomed to the original dosages and the brain requires more and more medication to attain the same response. As you might imagine, this is a recipe for disaster.

The most dangerous of all opioids is heroin. Study’s show that 4-6% of those who abuse opioids transition to heroin abuse. Rather than trick the brain with potentially deadly and addictive chemicals, let’s look at some treatments that can not only help with pain, but will often eliminate it for extended periods if not for good.

ACUPUNCTURE

Opioid receptors in the brain are so named because they are stimulated by opioid structured compounds such as those found in common pain medications. New research has proven that acupuncture stimulates these same receptors!

Recent data, obtained by using functional magnetic resonance imaging, suggest that acupuncture has regionally specific, quantifiable effects on relevant brain structures. Acupuncture may stimulate gene expression of neuropeptides.

Read this bold sentence once again: “Acupuncture may stimulate gene expression of neuropeptides.” This means that acupuncture not only creates short term relief but may also change how your genes function, helping to eliminate pain long term. Neuropeptides are the chemical messengers that the brain uses to communicate with the body. Doesn’t it make more sense to activate them naturally by employing acupuncture rather than utilizing potentially harmful and addictive medication?

CHIROPRACTIC

In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for prescribing opioids that also promote non-pharmacologic alternatives for the treatment of chronic pain. In 2015, the Joint Commission, the organization that accredits more than 20,000 health care systems in the U.S. including every major hospital, recognized the value of non-drug approaches by adding chiropractic and acupuncture to its pain management standard.

If you believe the medical community rejects chiropractic, times have changed. Research continues to mount touting the benefits of chiropractic care. The following study is from the prestigious medical journal Spine:

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Don’t become a statistic. Find the relief you desire without the use of medication. Join the millions of satisfied patients who have regained their health naturally through integrative therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic!

 

 

Acid Reflux Has Met It’s Match With Acupuncture

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Acid reflux, also known as heart burn, dyspepsia or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is one of the most common conditions treated in our society. While there are many dietary recommendations I could make, this blog will focus specifically on acupuncture.

Symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Burping
  • Regurgitation (sensation of acid backing up into the mouth and throat)
  • Nausea after eating
  • Stomach fullness or bloating
  • Upper abdominal pain and discomfort

While reflux is believed be the result of the over-production of acid, for many people it is actually the opposite. There are special cells in the stomach that secrete acid. This acid is essential for proper digestion to occur. Low acid causes gas buildup in the stomach that increases the pressure in the stomach, forcing stomach contents back up into the esophagus.

There is no doubt that acid blocking medication help relieve symptoms for many people, but it does not address the issue. If your smoke alarm was going off, would you pull the battery (cover up the burning pain) or fix the problem (restore normal stomach function)?

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So if medication works, what’s the big deal? According to the British Medical Journal:

Long term use of drugs to curb acid reflux linked to doubling in stomach cancer risk.

Now THAT is scary! It’s most likely that this is news to you. If so, you are not alone. The media is constantly filled with advertisements for reflux medication. These medications are quite lucrative as patients will generally remain on them for long periods because they merely cover the symptoms.

 

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Stomach acid plays an important role in breaking down food and absorbing nutrients as well as killing bacteria and microbes that enter the stomach. Long-term maintenance use of acid-suppressing drugs like proton pump inhibitors may disrupt these processes and make people more susceptible to both infections and nutritional deficits. The use of these acid inhibitors for any period of time is also associated with an increase of intestinal infections and a higher risk of Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea, a potentially life-threatening disease.

Unless you enjoy spending lots of money month after month while increasing your risk of serious side effects, let’s see how acupuncture can help. Researcher’s evaluated the effects of acupuncture for patients who had failed traditional drug therapy. Drumroll, please…

Researchers find acupuncture effective for alleviating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients unresponsive to drug therapy saw significant improvements after receiving acupuncture care. High resolution measurements of the esophagus confirm that acupuncture improves the activity of the valve whose proper functioning prevents acid reflux.

These patients not only felt better, medical testing proved that acupuncture actually improved the function of the stomach. So how did acupuncture help with acid reflux? This study proved that the treatment improved the contraction of muscles that separate the stomach from the esophagus. This is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). By improving the function of the LES, acid was prevented from backing up.

It is essential for you to understand that acupuncture does not treat symptoms, but it works by restoring the function of the body. Any dysfunction of the body is either the result of an excess or a deficiency. The beauty of acupuncture is it simply restores this balance. (If you are interested in learning more, I wrote a blog titled How Does Acupuncture Work that explains this scientifically.)

Acid reflux is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. When the delicate tissues of the esophagus are traumatized by repeated acid  exposure, cancer risk increases significantly. So instead of medication, look to acupuncture as a safe and effective alternative.

Acupuncture Outperforms Morphine For Pain

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The statistics are undeniable. Common pain medications create a wide variety of side effects―including death! Now a recent study shows that acupuncture outperformed morphine in the emergency room for 300 patients suffering from moderate to severe pain. These findings included:

  1. A reduction in pain score ≥50% was achieved more often in the acupuncture group compared with the morphine group (92% vs. 78%).
  2. Pain relief was achieved almost twice as fast (mean time 16 minutes vs. 28 minutes).
  3. Minor adverse events were more common in the morphine group (57%) than in the acupuncture group (3%).

According the the researchers:

“Our study demonstrated that in patients with acute pain syndromes presenting to the ED (Emergency Department), acupuncture is at least as efficacious and has a better safety profile than IV morphine. The results of this study suggest that acupuncture has a potential role in controlling acute pain conditions presenting to EDs and appears to be safe and effective. Future studies should be performed in international populations.”

So to summarize, acupuncture was more effective, faster, and resulted in significantly less side effects treating patients that entered the emergency room for pain. While the opioid crisis continues to destroy lives, acupuncture remains a safe and natural approach for pain.

Vertigo and Dizziness Shows Immediate Improvement with Acupuncture

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Acupuncture continues to prove it’s validity and effectiveness within the medical community. Many hospital emergency rooms now offer acupuncture as an alternative treatment for many common conditions. Although the benefits of acupuncture have been recognized by millions over thousands of years, Western medicine has been slow to adopt.

Within the current healthcare crisis in the United States has come opportunity. Many insurers are now measuring the effectiveness of treatment and reimbursing accordingly. No longer can doctors and hospitals bill out large amounts for services without tangible results. Acupuncture fills the gap when it comes to both cost effectiveness and clinical benefit.

A recent study set in a hospital emergency room looked to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for patients presenting with vertigo and dizziness. Their findings speak for themselves:

Acupuncture demonstrates a significant immediate effect in reducing discomforts and VAS (a symptom severity scale) of both dizziness and vertigo. This study provides clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture to treat dizziness and vertigo in the emergency department.

Another study looked to find an alternative to traditional treatment as they noted, “No medication for dizziness in current use has well-established curative or prophylactic value or is suitable for long-term palliative use.” Their findings were just as encouraging:

The results from this study will provide clinical evidence on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with chronic dizziness.

If you suffer from vertigo or dizziness, life can be significantly challenging. Even simple day to day activities can be overwhelming. Many of the common medications prescribed can result in side effects are common and include tiredness, dry mouth, and vomiting. Besides the incredible results acupuncture provides, there are no significant side effects.

Recently on a regular visit, one of my patients mentioned her concern regarding some dizziness she was currently experiencing. Most unsettling to her was a flight planned to see her grandchildren as flying would usually worsen her symptoms. Acupuncture had been of benefit for her in the past for headaches, so she asked about undergoing a couple treatments prior to her travels. Upon return, she noted significant relief as well as no symptoms as a result of flying.

Here is a testimonial I received from another patient a few years back regarding her experience with acupuncture after a bout of chronic dizziness:

About a year ago, I returned from a trip to Hawaii. I had some mild motion sickness during the trip, which is not unusual for me. When we arrived home though, the sense of mild nausea and disorientation didn’t go away. Several days passed, and it was getting no better. The only relief I could find was to sleep, but the more I slept, the more exhausted I felt.

I turned to the internet to research vertigo and the treatments that were available. When I read a recommendation to see an acupuncturist, I thought of Dr. Perrine, who is already my chiropractor. I went in to see him immediately, and the first treatment relieved my misery for several hours. I did not find the needles painful at all, and the experience was actually relaxing in a way.

Each subsequent treatment relieved the symptoms a bit longer than the last, until finally the symptoms went away 100%. As I recall it was resolved within about 2 weeks, and I have not had any problems since. Thanks Dr. Perrine!

If you suffer from dizziness or vertigo and have not tried acupuncture, it will be well worth a try! Contact our office if you would like some additional information.

www.DrDavidCPerrine.com

Amazing Recovery from Sciatica After Acupuncture

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Sciatica describes a condition that causes pain that generally starts in the buttocks and radiates down the back of the leg, possibly as far as the foot. Sometimes it is paired with numbness or tingling in the same regions. Sciatica is more of a description than a diagnosis. It is like saying you have a sore throat. That tells you WHAT you feel but not WHY you feel it. Sciatica tells us we have pain, but not why. It can be caused by arthritis, a bulging disc, or muscle spasms in the gluteal region. It is essential to visit a doctor that will uncover the underlying cause rather than simply cover up symptoms. As a chiropractor, that is what I am trained to do.

Once we know what is wrong we can focus on returning patients to health. With many of the people that see me, the pain levels are so significant that the primary focus is to simply provide relief. Jeff’s story is a great example. He was referred to me by a friend of his who had seen me for a similar issue. When we first met, he could barely walk and was in severe pain that started in his hip and radiated down to his leg. Classic “sciatica.” My initial recommendation was to begin acupuncture to help modify his pain as quickly as possible. Although a bit hesitant, he decided to begin treatment.

Jeff’s response was nothing short of amazing. He noted relief immediately after treatment and within a few weeks was pain free. This allowed us now to focus on the structural issues that set off his pain to begin with. Although the responses to acupuncture vary from condition to condition and person to person, I’ve witnessed many similar outcomes over the years.

One recent medical journal review looked at 11 different studies that were completed that evaluated the benefits of acupuncture for the treatment of sciatica. A total of 962 patients were enrolled in these studies. Their findings prove what practitioners practicing acupuncture have known for thousands of years. Acupuncture works very well when it comes to treating painful conditions such as sciatica. Here is what they said:

“In conclusion, the results of this systematic review suggest that the use of acupuncture may more effectively relieve leg pain/lumbago and improve global assessment of sciatica when compared with NSAID (anti-inflammatory pain medication) treatment. Moreover, adjuvant acupuncture may enhance the effect of medications in leg pain/lumbago relief. To patients, acupuncture points appear more effective than nonacupoints. Acupuncture is relatively safe and is rarely associated with serious adverse events in patients with sciatica.”

Before you spend your time and money having a variety of tests done that rarely change treatment decisions, look towards conservative treatments like chiropractic and acupuncture. I think you will happy you did!

Acupuncture Brought His Anxiety and Depression Under Control

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According to Medical News Today, anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States (U.S.). It is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, only about one third of sufferers receive treatment. While medication and counseling can be effective therapies, an ancient form a care has shown great promise.

Reuters health reported on a study from the University of York in the UK. The study recruited 755 people with moderate to severe depression. Seventy percent of the patients had been on anti-depressants and continued on them throughout the study. The study concluded that both acupuncture and counseling (or both) had a strongly positive effect on depression, lowering the depression scale from an average of 16 out of 27 at the start of the study, to 9 for acupuncture and 11 for counseling at its conclusion. The benefits lasted 3 months after treatment had concluded.

One of my long time patients, I’ll call him Sam to protect his privacy, came to me a few years ago for chiropractic treatment for chronic neck pain. During our visit, he asked if there were any supplements he could take to help his anxiety and depression. I explained that there are certain botanicals that have been of benefit―however, I explained that they would be treating symptoms rather than attempting to balance his nervous system (I do want to stress that I encouraged Sam to seek professional counseling as well to help reconcile any underlying emotional issues).

Sam was very skeptical when I mentioned acupuncture. He asked me if I could provide him some more information about how acupuncture might work, which I happily furnished. As I continued to address his neck issues over time utilizing chiropractic, he would continue to ask me questions about acupuncture. Then on one visit, he told me he wanted like to try it.

After a few treatments, Sam said he noticed a difference regarding his emotional state. Here’s how he explained it:

“Before I started acupuncture, it was like I was standing in a room covered with graffiti on the walls. My mind was just out of control. Now I see the walls clearing. There is a new state of calm.”

Sam continued to see improvement and after a month of care, I told him to call me if his feelings returned. Every so often, Sam will come in to “retune” his mind. Acupuncture works by helping rewire the brain. Similar to what happens with a computer virus, our brain’s software can become corrupted by various life stresses. Stimulating specific points on the body reestablishes normal brain function, calming the mental storms that can arise. What’s really cool…studies have proven this using advanced medical imaging such as functional MRI.

The most important takeaway…there is hope. If you or someone you know suffers from anxiety and/or depression, acupuncture can be a safe and effective therapy. With virtually no side effects, it is certainly a worthwhile course of action. Please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help you find that peace and calm we all desire.