Acupuncture for chronic primary pain

Acupuncture for chronic primary pain

Many people experience the debilitating effects of chronic pain, which can seriously affect their quality of life.

When pain arises from a known underlying health condition, for example rheumatoid arthritis or endometriosis it is termed “chronic secondary pain”. However, sometimes pain has no identified cause and in these circumstances, when it persists for over three months, it is called ‘chronic primary pain’. This is estimated to affect between 1% and 6% of people in England.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has just published revised guidelines that focus on treatments for chronic primary pain. These emphasise the importance of shared decision making between GPs and their patients, including a review of current prescribed medications and discussion around their benefits and any associated risks.

Importantly, unless the benefits to the patient are agreed to outweigh the risks, NICE now recommends that doctors should no longer prescribe painkillers, as there is “little or no evidence” that their ongoing use makes any difference to a person’s pain and distress, or their quality of life.

NICE also recommends that GPs advise patients to use “treatments that have been shown to be effective in managing chronic primary pain”. Amongst the physical and talking therapies thought to be beneficial, acupuncture is included as an option.

Many people find acupuncture helpful in reducing pain, stiffness and inflammation, increasing movement and supporting their body’s recovery to better health. It works well as a stand-alone therapy, or alongside conventional medical treatments and physical therapies like physiotherapy.

The Physio Therapy Centre offers traditional acupuncture with Christine MacFie, our resident acupuncture practitioner. Christine is a member of the British Acupuncture Council and works to their COVID-19 guidelines for safe practice. You can contact Christine directly to book your acupuncture appointments in our safe and welcoming clinic environment.