FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DOCTORS PINPOINT A SOLUTION TO STRESS-RELATED ACHES AND PAINS
May 15, 2000 (New York, NY) - One out of three Americans will experience neck pain, and up to 90 percent will suffer lower back pain at some point in their lives. For those who find their neck in knots and lower back in a twist, the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) recommends a modern version of an ancient therapy - medical acupuncture - to relieve common back and neck pain.
"Stress is the number one reason people experience back and neck pain. Most people don't realize how much tension they carry in their body," said Robert Schulman, M.D., a Board member of the AAMA with a private practice in Manhattan. "Some people tend to hold the muscles in their lower back and neck so tightly they mistake it for a medical condition. What they don't consider are the external stressors in their lives - perhaps unhappiness at work, marital problems, or repressed emotions," he said.
Dr. Schulman, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine in Surgery at the Weil Medical College of Cornell University and clinical affiliate of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, said half of the patients he sees are frustrated after having tried traditional methods of treatment with no success. "Medical acupuncture helps some patients feel better instantly because it relaxes the patients, loosens muscles and stimulates endorphin levels in the body - in essence recharging the body's battery - which decreases the sensation of pain," said Dr. Schulman.
Stress is not the only condition treatable by medical acupuncture. Automobile accident victims and those who frequently lift heavy loads are also likely candidates for this treatment.
How it Works
Medical Acupuncture, practiced only by trained, licensed physicians, begins with a traditional medical exam and diagnosis. After taking an extensive medical history, Dr. Schulman places very thin, sterile, stainless steel acupuncture needles into points on the body, sometimes applying heat or electrical pulse to encourage the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning.
Typically, a patient will find relief after an average of 12 to 15 sessions depending on the severity of the problem. A typical session, which most patients find painless, lasts from 30 minutes to one hour.
"By the end of a series of treatments, patients often notice a marked decrease in neck and back pain and a lessened dependency on medication," said Dr. Schulman. "Some are even able to eliminate medications altogether as acupuncture decreases pain, increases blood flow to tissues, and stimulates anti-inflammatory effects."
The AAMA encourages back and neck pain sufferers who are seeking acupuncture treatment from a non-physician practitioner to consult with their primary physician or with a medical acupuncturist to ensure they have an accurate medical diagnosis and are receiving the most targeted treatment regimen possible. Those interested in finding a medical acupuncturist in their area can contact the AAMA by calling 800-521-2262 or by visiting its web site at Find an Acupuncturist.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is the only medical specialty society for U.S. physicians who have received rigorous training in multiple systems of acupuncture as a specialty practice. The Academy's 1,700 members represent a diversity of medical disciplines, including family medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, anesthesiology and general surgery, among others. The purpose of the Academy is to integrate the concepts of traditional and modern acupuncture forms with Western medical training, thereby producing a more comprehensive approach to today's healthcare needs.