Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju

Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Acupuncture releases trapezius muscle fatigue, increases muscle activity and reduces pain in nonspecific neck pain

Trapezius muscle is a broad triangular muscle at neck and upper back, one of the largest superficial muscles at the back. It attaches to the base of the skull and extends down to the neck, the upper back until mid back; laterally it inserts to the shoulder blades. There are three functional regions to the muscle: the Upper, middle, and lower trapezius, and each region has its own function: upper region moves the shoulder blades and support the arms; the middle region retracts the shoulder blades and the lower region rotates and depresses the shoulder blades.

Pain caused from the upper trapezius includes headaches on the temples, facial, temple or jaw pain, pain behind the eye, dizziness, neck pain, stiff neck, limited movement, intolerance to weight on the shoulders. Pain caused by middle trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, mid back burning pain or aching along the spine or to the top of the shoulder. Pain caused from the lower trapezius includes headache at the base of the skull, aching on the top of the shoulder, neck, mid back and/or upper shoulder pain; pain at the back of the shoulder blade which could go down the inside of the arm to the ring and little fingers.

A recent research investigated immediate effect of acupuncture on electromyographic activity of the upper trapezius muscle and pain in patients with nonspecific neck pain. Fifteen patients with nonspecific neck pain and 15 healthy participants participated the study. They received one session either acupuncture or sham acupuncture as a control. The electromyography (EMG) signal of the upper trapezius muscle was recorded before and after acupuncture treatment. After acupuncture treatment, pain was significantly reduced and significant decreases in the EMG amplitude were identified for the nonspecific neck pain group. This research suggested that muscle fatigue and decrease of activity of the upper trapezius muscle was found in nonspecific neck pain patients. Acupuncture contributes to pain relief among patients with nonspecific neck pain.

References

Calamita SAP et al J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2018 Mar - Apr;41(3):208-217. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.09.006.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

How long can you get rid of the pain? Acupuncture is top choice to release pain.

Pain and burning in the affected area, decreased strength and flexibility, and pain caused by everyday activities are very common. This is often caused by tendinopathy-tendon injury.

Tendon is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone. It is responsible to transmit muscle force to the bone. A healthy tendon is up to twice as strong as the muscle, making the body of the tendon unlikely to tear before the muscle unless the tendon has already been weakened by degenerative changes. The effects of ageing, wear and tear, genetic pre-disposition and inflammation are known factors contributing to tendon injuries. Injured tendon can cause pain, loss of limb function and prevent exercise and activities of daily living. Injured tendons heal by fibrotic repair and are highly prone to re-injury.

Tendons consist of collagens, proteoglycans, glycoproteins, water and cells. It takes over 100 days to make new collagen.

The healing time for injured tendon varies. Tendon healing can be largely divided into 3 overlapping phases, inflammatory, repairing and remodelling phases: The initial inflammatory phase lasts about 24 hours. During this time erythrocytes, platelets and inflammatory cells migrate to the wound site, recruit tendon blast cell and clean the site of dead tissues and then initiate new collagen synthesis and deposition. After a few days of injury the repairing phase begins. Tendon fibroblast synthesise abundant collegan and other extra cellular matrix components. After 6 weelsthe remodelling phase starts. This phase is characterised by decreased cellularity and decreased collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. During this period, the repair tissue changes to fibrous tissue, this again changes to scar like tendon tissue after 10 weeks. After 10 weeks remodelling continues

Treatment at an early stage can be as brief as 6–10 weeks. Once it becomes chronic the treatment can take 3–6 months. The effective treatment might take 9 months or longer when it is chronic. Knowing these timelines is part of creating an effective treatment plan.

Acupuncture helps release the pain. Acupuncture helps with tendon injury

Acupuncture is used to treat tendon injury and it improves pain and functional activity in patients with tendinopathy. This is suggested that acupuncture can modulate both anti-inflammatory and mechanotransduction molecular pathways which can increase type I collagen synthesis. Collagen synthesis is the main factor that influences tendon biomechanical properties. Therefore one reason of acupuncture for tendon healing is that acupuncture increases synthesis and subsequent reorganisation of type I collagen during tendon healing process.

 Acupuncture is a top choice to release pain

Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three months. It’s a very common problem. Results from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey show that:

About 25.3 million U.S. adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the previous 3 months.

Nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) had severe pain.

Individuals with severe pain had worse health, used more health care, and had more disability than those with less severe pain.

Acupuncture is a top choice for chronic pain management according to NIH.

Clinical investigators have found that chronic pain patients often have lower-than-normal levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. Acupuncture activates endorphin systems and increases levels of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid.

References

Almeida Mdos S et al Acupunct Med (2014) 32:178-82

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/chronic.htm

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/chronic-pain-information-page

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