Acupuncture has been used in China for more than 5,000 years to encourage the body to heal itself naturally. An acupuncture practitioner inserts thin needles in very precise acupuncture points that correspond to various organs and systems of the body. Western medicine theorizes that acupuncture stimulates the production of neurochemicals that influence the body's internal regulating system, improving energy and biochemical balance. Acupuncture therapy is used in combination with traditional therapies in order to reduce physical pain. The chiropractors at the Institute of Athletic Medicine have an additional board certification in acupuncture.

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When combined with chiropractic therapy, acupuncture is a highly effective way to treat pain that may not respond to medication or traditional therapies alone. These conditions include:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Lower back pain, including sciatica
  • Disc-related injuries
  • Joint pain, including hip, shoulder, and knee pain
  • Neuropathy and neuritis
  • Arthritis
  • Pain in the arms or legs 
  • Fibromyalgia and muscular pain

What do treatments feel like?

Because the needles used in acupuncture are so fine, insertion feels similar to a mosquito bite for most patients. Once the needles are in place, there is usually no pain. The needles are sterile, so there is no risk of infection, and usually no bleeding when they are removed. Treatments typically involve multiple needles — eight to 20 on average — left in place for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the condition being treated.