The Benefits of Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture for Patients with Shoulder Injury

Various types of shoulder injuries will require different forms of treatments. Surgery may be the best option for really serious injuries although for light to moderate cases, natural healing options may be the best approach for people who would want a safe and effective type of treatment for their shoulder injury. For shoulder surgery, the average recovery time for regaining 75 percent to 80 percent of function and strength will take approximately six to seven months. In certain instances, the healing process may take up to a year; for full recovery, it may take as long as 2 years. All this will depend on the severity and extent of the patient’s injury; his/her initial state of health, the patient’s rehabilitation plan, mode of treatment and diet; and the commitment to and quality of rehabilitation. In each stages of rehabilitation, the recovery time can be significantly reduced with the use of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. By using these two natural alternative modalities, it is possible that the function and strength of your shoulder can be recovered sooner. These treatments can also help reduce scar tissue and prevent or limit the loss of range of movement of the shoulder.

Shoulder conditions or injuries include bursitis, bone spurs, tendinitis, nerve impingement, subluxation/dislocation, fractures and more. Not all these issues, obviously, will necessitate surgery. We will focus on injuries and shoulder surgeries such as prosthetic shoulder replacement, Bankart surgery, rotator cuff repair, and arthroscopic surgery in this article. While these surgeries can greatly benefit the patient, they can also bring about severe trauma to the affected part that may require much time and dedication in physical rehabilitation on the part of the patient and take a long time to heal.

As with all kinds of surgery, shoulder surgery has certain risks such as additional injury and stiffness to the tendons resulting from medical errors, synovial fluid leakage, and neurological and vascular injury. In a lot of instances, the patient will be free of complications and only has to cope with the typical postoperative shoulder problems. Tingling, numbness, loss of strength, keloid scarring, lowered range of movement, swelling, stiffness, and pain are some of the complaints reported by shoulder surgery patients. Acupuncture therapies via the rehabilitation process can greatly reduce each of these issues. And these treatments can be initiated on the day after surgery or even on the same day after surgery. The use of various herbal remedies can help strengthen the ligaments and tendons, as well as improve blood circulation, relieve pain, lessen swelling, boost lymph drainage, and transport a constant supply of nutrients and oxygen to the affected site). To make sure you’re getting the right formula, it is important that the herbs you use are prescribed and given to you by a licensed practitioner. You can go through the four stages of recovery faster with acupuncture. It will help you recover full functionality up to a couple of months faster than rehabilitation minus acupuncture.

The first stage of the process of recovery takes about five to six weeks. During this stage, the patient will be wearing a sling. Acupuncture treatment at this time can be administered in the areas around the shoulder to reduce the levels of pain, lessen the risk of infection by strengthening the immune system, and boost blood circulation to the affected area. This treatment stimulates the body to produce and release the body’s own natural painkillers: endorphins to relieve pain. It is indeed an ideal alternative for those patients who don’t like to use pharmaceutical drugs. Acupuncture can also lessen your need for prescription painkillers.

The second stage involves shoulder therapy and very little movement of the shoulder. In this stage, you can use Orlando’s acupuncture directly around the injured shoulder in to help increase blood circulation to the tendons. This will help relieve stiffness and improve range of movement. The surrounding muscles are stimulated to minimize loss of muscle mass and strength. At this phase, an excellent modality to use is mild electro-acupuncture. Distal pressure points on the hand can be used to help maintain nerve conduction and to minimize the sensation of tingling and numbness in the limb.

The third stage will involve more physical therapy. The patient may need to use six to ten pound weights to regain muscle shoulder strength. Acupuncture is beneficial in this stage as it to nurtures the muscles and damaged tendons back to health. It is also great at blocking keloid scar tissue build-up and can help break down any scar tissue that may already have developed. This helps preserve or restore the flexibility, fullness of sensations, and full range of movement of the shoulder.

Stage four involves rehabilitating the patient to get him or her back to 100% functionality. If the acupuncturist has done his job and the patient has been fully cooperative, the fourth stage can be greatly reduced and the patient can be months ahead of the rehabilitation process.

While Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help the patient avoid orthopedic surgeries, they can also serve as complementary therapies in the rehabilitation process related to surgeries. Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be used as adjunct treatments to physical therapy and may also be utilized before the patient is able to move the arm and move on to physical therapy. A properly done acupuncture treatment by a licensed practitioner will lead to a faster post-surgery recovery time and the shoulder injury and pain will very minimal leading to more strength and a better range of motion of the shoulder.

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