Acupuncture can be the ideal solution to a myriad of traumas and bodily insults when in pain. The primary problem is one of pain and it’s sequel. Acupuncture addresses pain from several different avenues of approach. First, it works both on the central nervous system and the bioactive painkillers of the brain. Its action is on the central nervous system in blocking ascending pain impulses through the slow, large A-fibers by stimulating of endorphins in the brain. The great advantage of endogenous pain control is that it is self-regulating to a large degree. The body is stimulated to optimize the production of endorphins on demand. And, when produced, being endogenous, they do not carry the side effects, tolerance and regulatory problems that exogenous drugs do.

The reason that acupuncture is so ideal, though, lies in its multiple modes of action. Pain relief is afforded, largely through the two mechanisms mentioned above. But pain relief is only part of the solution to a presenting problem. Sprains and strains carry a particularly malignant cycle. First a muscle or group of muscles is traumatized, throwing it into spasm. This pulls on the surrounding muscles and, in turn, starts more spasm. Both pain killing drugs and muscle relaxants are largely ineffective in this sort of cycle as the dosages that would break the cycle are approaching or into the toxic range. They would certainly prevent any normal functioning of the individual. Physiotherapy is often effective in the early stages of this problem, but it is insufficient in a matter of days.

Acupuncture, as indicated above, works in part through the elimination or reduction of the perception of pain. It also has direct action on muscle spasm both through the release of cell chemicals such as corticosteroids, histamine and glycogen acting directly on the muscle and in increasing the circulation in the area improving biochemical transport of lactic acid and products of spasm away from the area and in moving healing agents such as ACTH and other steroids to the area. As spasm is reduced, so is pressure on nerves and the resultant dysfunction’s.

There is also an action on specific bio-active chemicals in the body via acupuncture. These ranging from catecholamines and peptides in the brain like serotonin and norepinephrine to hormones from throughout the body. In patients undergoing long term acupuncture treatment considerable and significant enlargement of the adrenal glands can be shown in response to stimulation and the demand for increased production of natural steroids.

Author's Bio: 

L.Ac, B.A. University of California, Davis, Doctor of Chinese Medicine Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine