(WXYZ) – A traditional form of Chinese medicine was tested on emergency room patients in Australia, to see if it was an effective alternative for pain medication. Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years. It’s a technique where tiny needles are inserted at specific points on the body.
The randomized controlled trial involved four emergency departments and over 500 patients with varying conditions like migraines, ankle sprains and low back pain.
The results suggest acupuncture is just as safe and effective as pain medication. After one hour following the Chinese treatment, under 40 percent of all patients said they had significant pain reduction. But two days later, 83% of acupuncture participants reported they would probably or definitely repeat it again, compared to 78% of those who took only painkillers for their ailment.
Acupuncture has become much more common as it’s helpful for numerous conditions. But it’s not a pain-relieving option typical seen in hospital emergency departments. If you find yourself in that situation, here are my prescriptions to help you deal with pain:
- If you think you have a sprain or muscle or joint problem, try R.I.C.E. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Try imagery to take your mind off pain. Think of a happy time or place and focus on that memory while letting your body relax.
- Listen to music. A study at the Cleveland Clinic found music significantly reduced pain, depression and increased participants’ feelings of power.
- Think positive thoughts. Don’t dwell on the pain as this may increase feelings of frustration and make the pain feel much worse.
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can also help with mild to moderate pain. You can even combine them with acupuncture.
For those who can’t take standard pain-relieving drugs due to medical conditions, this Chinese treatment may be a viable option for pain relief. Everyone handles pain differently and what works for one person may not work for another. Whatever the reason that lands you at the ER, it’s good to have several options to help you deal with discomfort and pain.
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