Can Acupuncture Help with Peripheral Neuropathy Pain?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that affects millions worldwide, often causing numbness, tingling and debilitating pain. With limited treatment options available, many are exploring alternative therapies to find relief. One such ancient practice is acupuncture, a component of traditional Chinese medicine. Today, we delve into how acupuncture may help in alleviating neuropathic pain, based on both traditional beliefs and modern scientific studies.

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.

Man getting acupuncture treatment on his foot and leg, closeup.

What is acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles into various pressure points across the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, this technique balances the flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities. From the perspective of Western medicine, acupuncture helps to stimulate nerves and muscles, boosting the body’s response to pain and improving blood circulation.

In an acupuncture session, needles are inserted into the body’s pressure points to stimulate the nervous system. This process releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers, in the muscles, spine and brain. The release of these chemicals changes your body’s response to pain, making it a viable technique for pain relief and discomfort management.

Acupuncture’s role in alleviating peripheral neuropathy symptoms

In the realm of traditional Chinese medicine, peripheral neuropathy occurs due to a blockage in the flow of qi and blood. This blockage prevents cells and tissues from receiving the nourishment they need. Acupuncture aims to unblock this flow, thereby aiding in the healing process.

Scientific studies supporting acupuncture for peripheral neuropathy

Though research is still ongoing, some successful studies point towards the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating peripheral neuropathy. A recent clinical trial from 2023 indicated that acupuncture given concurrently with oxaliplatin was effective in protecting against chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in stage 3 colorectal cancer patients. The study found that traditional acupuncture was more effective in preserving touch thresholds than sham acupuncture, a control method used to evaluate the genuine effects of actual acupuncture. Moreover, a systematic review suggests that acupuncture is effective in treating conditions like diabetic neuropathy, Bell’s palsy and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). It may also be effective in HIV-related neuropathy, although further research is needed.

Safety concerns: What are the side effects of acupuncture?

Acupuncture carries little to no risk if performed by a licensed professional. However, some possible side effects include:

  • Pain and bruising: Minor pain or discomfort might be experienced at the needle sites post-treatment.
  • Injury: Improper technique could result in needles being pushed too deeply, causing injury.
  • Infection: It’s crucial that sterile needles are used to avoid the risk of life-threatening diseases.

Should you consider acupuncture for peripheral neuropathy pain?

Acupuncture shows promise as a complementary therapy for peripheral neuropathy. With its dual foundation in both traditional Chinese beliefs and modern Western medicine, it offers a holistic approach to managing neuropathic pain. However, it is essential to consult a licensed professional for safe and effective treatment.

So, if you’re dealing with peripheral neuropathy, consider discussing acupuncture with your healthcare provider as a potential adjunct to your treatment plan.

WinSanTor is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies. We believe in creating a solution that works and brings relief to millions that are struggling with this disease. Learn more about our companyour drug and subscribe to our newsletter.

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FAQs

What happens during an acupuncture session?

In an acupuncture session, needles are inserted into the body's pressure points to stimulate the nervous system. This process releases endorphins, your body's natural painkillers, in the muscles, spine and brain. The release of these chemicals changes your body’s response to pain, making it a viable technique for pain relief and discomfort management.

What are some side effects of acupuncture?

Pain and bruising: Minor pain or discomfort might be experienced at the needle sites post-treatment.
Injury: Improper technique could result in needles being pushed too deeply, causing injury.
Infection: It's crucial that sterile needles are used to avoid the risk of life-threatening diseases.

How can acupuncture help peripheral neuropathy?

According to traditional Chinese medicine, this technique balances the flow of energy, or qi (pronounced “chee”), stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities. From the perspective of Western medicine, acupuncture helps to stimulate nerves and muscles, boosting the body’s response to pain and improving blood circulation.

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Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.