Needles = pain?! Nope. Acupuncture = treatment for chronic pain!

acupuncture orleans

For those who are skeptical, acupuncture might conjure up anxieties about needles or an image of Pinhead from Hellraiser. For those who have found relief from chronic pain, acupuncture is a miracle. From your father’s ever-sore back to your bum right knee, many of us have struggled with the effects of chronic pain. From depression to sleeplessness to loss of mobility, it often goes far beyond the pain itself. Unable to ease the pain, people often try to learn to live with it, but there’s no need: acupuncture can effectively treat chronic pain.

What makes pain chronic? It lasts longer than 12 weeks, and can persist for months or more. While it is often the result of a known injury or trauma (ie. why you should come in and see us as soon as you get injured), sometimes illness or undiagnosed problems are the cause.

You might think “Aches and pains are a part of aging!”, and decide to just tough it out, but the localized pain itself isn’t the only problem. Pain has an effect on the nervous system that can cause you to become more sensitive to other pain, known as “central sensitization.” Even things that wouldn’t normally hurt can become painful, and it can persist far longer than in a pain-free individual. There’s also an emotional burden attached to constant pain, leading to anxiety, anger or fatigue. If that wasn’t bad enough, those emotions can decrease the body’s natural pain defenses, creating a vicious cycle. Oh, and long-term chronic pain has been shown to suppress the immune system. Bad on all counts.

Orleans Acupuncture may not be the treatment you think of, but you should really reconsider. It is currently being used to treat everything from headaches to cramps, back pain to asthma, and with good reason: a large scale study with data from over 18,000 people showed acupuncture to be an effective treatment for chronic back, neck and should pain, osteoarthritis and headaches. These were clinical studies, meaning it’s been proven to work.

If you or a loved one is dealing with chronic pain, any of our physiotherapists can help you figure out if acupuncture is the right way to go. No horror movies necessary.

Pes Anserine Bursitis, or "My knee hurts!"

Knee and back pain are kinda like a really good steak: everyone has experienced it, or at least knows someone who has. The types with flashy names like “runner’s knee” (patellofemoral pain) or “lumbago” (lower back pain) get all sorts of attention, but what about poor old “hurt goose’s foot”?! An awkward way of describing for anserine bursitis, it doesn’t really tell you what’s going with your knee, does it? Not to worry, that’s what we’re here for.

Because it often pops up right alongside other knee problems (MCL tear anyone?), this injury is often overlooked. The “goose’s foot” refers to the pes anserinus, the conjoined leg tendons that connect to your tibia, just below your knee cap, on the inner side of your lower leg. They’re most there to flex the knee, but also stabilize it side-to-side.

Guess it’s not surprising then that pes anserine injuries are found most commonly in young individuals playing sports with lots of side-to-side movement. Risk is also increased in people with tight hamstrings, who overpronate when running, or who are obese. Pain normally creeps in when going from sitting to standing or climbing up stairs, but walking along a flat surface feels just fine. Especially when the injury is due to some feat of athletics, the pain can occur when stretching the hamstrings or reproduced with some stretches by your physiotherapist.

Not a young buck but still struggling with knee pain you think might fit that description? Pes anserine bursitis also occurs in older patients with articular cartilage damage. It often coincides with osteoarthritis of the knee, increasing the severity of pain and functional limitations.

So, hurty knees, what are you going to do? No matter the knee pain, it’s important to have it diagnosed, since there are SO many different things that could be going on. If it is pes anserine bursitis the first thing you’ll likely be prescribed is rest. Anti-inflammatory medications will help with swelling and pain, but won’t fix the problem. Physiotherapy is what you’ll need to correct the biomechanics that lead to your injury, and ultrasound or electrical stimulation will also help reduce inflammation.  Take action now and count your lucky stars: the need for surgical intervention is rare for this injury!