A neurological disorder refers to a problem with the nervous system, a complex, sophisticated system that regulates and coordinates the body’s activities. Nerve pain can arise from trauma, inflammation, stroke, disease, infection, nerve degeneration, exposure to toxic chemicals, and nutrient deficiencies.
Nerve pain is usually a sharp shooting pain or a constant burning sensation. Typically occurring in the same location with each episode, it can often be traced along the nerve pathway. Sometimes weakness or impaired function in the affected area occurs and the skin may be either overly sensitive or numb.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Not only can the pain from these and other neurological conditions be debilitating in its intensity, pain medications are generally ineffective in treating the discomfort. Fortunately acupuncture; often used with electrical stimulation in treating nerve conditions, is very effective at relieving the pain and restoring normal function. There are several ways this is thought to work, all of which have been carefully researched.
- Acupuncture stimulates the brain to release chemicals (neurotransmitters and opioids) into the body that reduce sensitivity to pain and normalize the nervous system.
- Acupuncture activates nerve receptors that decrease or "gate-control" (like a gate being closed) pain signals.
- Acupuncture with electrical stimulation interrupts the pain signal allowing the nerve to calm down thereby reducing pain.
- Acupuncture increases the amount of endorphins in the body and focuses them on the affected areas. These natural chemicals reduce inflammation that can cause, or be a result of, nerve pain.
- Acupuncture promotes actual healing by altering the body's electrical system to allow the transfer of material and electrical energy between normal and injured tissue thereby reducing the amount of recovery time.