Acupuncture for Diabetes-Related Nerve Pain: How Does It Work?

Acupuncture for Diabetes-Related Nerve Pain: How Does It Work?

Nerve pain is an all-too-common complication of diabetes, causing tingling, pain, and numbness in the limbs — most often, the feet. Nerve damage also makes it hard to feel injuries to your feet, which means sores may go undetected. 

While there is currently no cure for diabetic neuropathy, acupuncture can help minimize its painful symptoms. With locations in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey, Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness is a leading provider of acupuncture for diabetic nerve pain. Here’s how these treatments work and how they could help you feel better.

Diabetes and nerve pain

Diabetes happens when your blood sugar (glucose) level increases beyond a healthy range. Normally, a hormone called insulin helps manage blood sugar levels, but if you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin effectively.

Although glucose is essential for providing your cells and organs with nutrients and energy, too much glucose can be very damaging. Uncontrolled diabetes is associated with increased risks of serious medical problems, like kidney failure, vision loss, coma, and even death.

Elevated glucose levels also damage your nerves, interfering with the normal nerve-signaling process that helps you sense and feel. Over time, diabetic nerve damage causes chronic pain and numbness that can make every step painful. Diabetic nerve pain can even make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Acupuncture for diabetic neuropathy

Acupuncture is a centuries-old medical technique with origins in Asia. Over the past decades, its use has become widespread in the United States for patients seeking pain relief without relying on increasing doses of potentially dangerous medications.

While no one knows how acupuncture works to relieve pain, researchers believe it helps by increasing blood flow to the tiny nerve endings, improving the way they function. Acupuncture may also stimulate the release of chemicals essential for normal nerve function. 

Research shows acupuncture can offer significant pain relief for many people with diabetes. Better still, acupuncture can be combined with other therapies and repeated as needed. As with any treatment, it’s critical to do all you can to manage your glucose levels and to work closely with your provider to develop an overall pain management plan that works for you.

Treatment basics

Acupuncture visits typically take about an hour or so. During your visit, you lie back and relax while our provider inserts the acupuncture needles at precise points on your body. The needles are extremely thin, and most people report little to no discomfort.

The needles remain inserted for about 20-40 minutes. We may move the needles slightly to increase their effectiveness. Afterward, there’s no downtime; you can go back to your regular routine. Some people feel very relaxed, while others feel energized following their visit.

Before your treatment, have a light meal and avoid alcohol or caffeine. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows our team to access your arms and legs so the needles can be properly placed.

Find relief for your diabetes-related nerve pain

The team at Jersey Integrative Health is skilled in pain management therapies optimized for every patient’s needs. If you have diabetic nerve pain and you’d like to learn how we can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness today.

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