The practice of acupuncture is believed to be originated from the mainland of China. In earlier ages, sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used instead of what we are using today, the needles. Acupuncture theory believes if the energy is flowing throughout the body (called Qi) and can be channelized to promote the balance and health of the body. The acupuncture practice was once declined and revived back in 1949 when the Government of The People’s Republic of China brought the acupuncture into practice again with several research institutes were established and the service provided in some of the hospitals.
Acupuncture and neurology
Various researches have been conducted to test and evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture towards several health conditions. Some researches claim it works by balancing the energy of the body while some claim it has a neurological effect. Scientists have used neuroscience to understand and explain how acupuncture works and give benefits to the human body. The acupuncture points are seen as places where the connective tissue, nerves and muscles can be stimulated which increase the flowing of the blood and trigger the activity of natural painkiller.
Treating muscle and joint problems
Research conducted in Germany shown that acupuncture helps with some of the musculoskeletal pain which affected the muscles, bones and joints such as low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, muscle cramps as well as a headache. The World Health Organization also listed a number of health conditions where the acupuncture has been proven to treat them effectively. The conditions include muscle and joint-associated problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, tennis elbow and sciatica. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture also stated that the acupuncture can reduce the muscle spasms, tremors, tics and contractures. All these muscle cramps conditions commonly happened among athlete and person with the active lifestyle of living.
Another research conducted by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Nippon Dental University in Japan on two groups of muscle pain sufferers. They were divided into two types of acupuncture treatments; “ashi” treatment (the accurate pain point) and “sham” treatment (the inaccurate pain point). The study found that both types of treatment reduced muscle pain with no significant difference between them.
Experts from the international community have pooled the results from 29 studies involving almost 18,000 participants who had acupuncture, “sham” acupuncture and no acupuncture at all. They concluded that acupuncture relieved the chronic pain which are the muscle-associated back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache and shoulder pain by about 50 percent and it is published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
With the insertion of needles into the body through acupuncture treatment, the body will release hormones called Endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller, secreted within our brain and nervous system to helps the body to feel relaxed and alert with any coming pain. As a result, the tense muscle will no longer source the pain into the body and reduce any pain and muscle-associated problem.
It is important to seek a professional and licensed practitioner or acupuncturist if you decided to try this treatment for your muscle cramps problem. Acupuncture may be effective to treat your problems, but it is not an alternative or a substitute for the medical care taken by the physician. Consult with your doctor for any changes you plan to make and don’t lower your medication doses without the doctor’s approval.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: February 12, 2019 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019
- Bentley S. Exercise-Induced Muscle Cramp: Proposed Mechanisms and Management.Sports Medicine. 1996.
- Sierpina VS, Frenkel MA. Acupuncture: A Clinical Review. The Southern Medical Association. 2005.