I am often asked the question “Can acupuncture help me avoid surgery?” The answer is that sometimes it can and other times it can’t. Unfortunately surgery doesn’t always work either. I have seen folks in my office with failed back surgeries and in worse pain than ever, unsuccessful carpal tunnel procedures, and neuromas that have grown back post surgery.
The truth is that nothing is 100% predictable. What I can tell you about acupuncture though is that it is minimally invasive, causes no side effects, and it stimulates the body’s innate healing mechanisms so that many times, the body can kick into gear and take care of the problem on its own.
I usually recommend getting somewhere between five and ten treatments at fairly consistent intervals. By then it should be fairly clear whether acupuncture is going to resolve the issue or if surgery is warranted. A good rule of thumb is to be conservative and try the least invasive therapies first.
Surgery is invasive and regardless of how successful it is, there is always a recovery period. It is a good idea to plan on getting acupuncture treatments after surgery as it helps lesson the pain and speeds healing.
Sydney Cooley L. Ac., Dipl OM