Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Management
Arden, Arianna E., 1998--
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Approximately 20.4% of the North American population experience chronic pain (CDC, 2016). Chronic pain has a direct impact on daily life activities, mental health, employment, and economic well-being. Many adults are treated with opioid medications which have the potential to cause addiction. Roughly 42,000 deaths were documented in 2016 due to opioid overdoses (Public Affairs, n.d.). With that number only continuing to grow, the opioid crisis is becoming an epidemic across America. Non-addictive alternative forms for managing chronic pain, such as acupuncture, should be more widely utilized in western medicine in order to prevent opioid abuse and addiction. Academic search complete was used to identify studies performed between years 2000-2020 on acupuncture (subject) use with chronic pain individuals. Key words included were management, chronic pain, acupuncture, and treatment. Results indicated patients receiving acupuncture had less pain, with scores and standard deviations lower than sham controls for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headache respectively. Studies also showed decreased opioid requirements by 50% within 24 hours of the first acupuncture session. Although further research is needed, results thus far support the potential role of acupuncture in addressing various forms of chronic pain and its alternative to opioid medication.