For years, many sufferers from various types of pain have turned to alternative remedies when traditional Western medicine wasn’t addressing their problems sufficiently. Relaxation techniques, massage therapy, and herbal remedies are just a few of the many alternative medicines that chronic pain sufferers tend to try if their pain cannot be managed through more conventional routes. In addition to these remedies listed above, many chronic pain patients have also turned to acupuncture for relief. In recent years, scientists and researchers have acknowledged this phenomenon and have begun to research the relationship between pain relief and acupuncture. One research study, recently presented at the Radiological Society of North America, examined this relationship and shed some light about the brain’s role in this process. Through the use of MRI scans of patients receiving acupuncture therapy, scientists find that the brain activity related to pain perception was modulated or reduced significantly. The study involved eighteen patients who were scanned with and without acupuncture treatment after an electrical pain stimulus was placed on their ankle.
This research may shed light on the cognitive pathways modulating pain perception; the more scientists discover about pain pathways and how pain is modulated, the more effective the corresponding treatments will become. Since it is not uncommon for chronic pain sufferers to not receive total or adequate pain relief through conventional methods, it may be worthwhile for researchers to continue to study how alternative medicine techniques aid in pain reduction.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer located in Altoona, PA and serves the central and western Pennsylvania area. For more information on him and his firm, please click here.