94 year old Helen experienced a miracle with Acupuncture in Coconut Creek, FL.
She was treated for Spinal Stenosis, Sciatica, Arthritis and Knee pain.
See her testimonial and read about our case study below.
The following is a CASE STUDY of a success story of Acupuncture in Coconut Creek.
This was submitted as part of Doctoral level program at the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine.
- Patient came in crying with a wheel chair and severe Sacro Lumbar Pain radiating down left leg on anterior and lateral region to below the knee. Back Pain is an 8/10 & Knee a 3/10.
- Px couldn’t sleep, stand or sit without extreme pain. Pain flared up about one month ago but patient is not sure why. Not able to socialize or do her exercise classes so its dampening her quality of life and she is upset about having to Physical Therapy 3 days a week, Pain Management Doctors etc. She just wants to “Live her life”.
- Patient has completed over one month of Physical Therapy treatments at 3x per week with little pain relief. Therapists handed patient off to me after her insurance visits for PT were all used up. The therapist referred her for acupuncture in coconut creek because she lives across the street from our clinic.
- Px on 7 different Meds for: High Blood Press, Hypo Thyroid, Blood Thinner, Epilepsy, Insomnia, Multi Vitamin, D3, Calcium and Potassium.
- Her Pain Management Doctor prescribed Oxycontin and other meds that are not working. She still feels the pain.
- Tongue was a dim, red/purple, old and weathered with little coating, dryness and cracks. Her pulse was weak, thin and thready on both sides.
- She won’t consider any herbal medicinal formulas or any additional supplements because of all the medications she is on. She is worried they may interfere or have contra-indications, negative reactions et.
- I diagnosed her as having: Kidney Deficiency with Local Blood Stasis and Qi Stagnation. Because of her age and tongue, I thought it was a Kidney Essence or Yin Deficiency, but she was mentally clear, seemed to have a perfect memory and no heat signs or typical Yin Deficient signs. There were no night sweats or sweats of any kind, no vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, eye irritation, dry throat, 5 center heat, floating, rapid pulse etc. This stems from a degenerative problem and not specifically aggravated by weather, heat or cold so tt also didn’t seem like some type of Wind-Damp Bi Pain. Therefore I thought a general Kidney Insufficiency was applicable. She was barely mobile and had no signs of tingling or numbness. So I figured stagnation and stasis were part of a circulation problem rather than a blood deficiency, even though the dry tongue and skin may have had a role in that. She was not cold either and no aversion to chills. So this further rules out blood deficiency or Yang Deficiency.
- During her acupuncture in Coconut Creek treatments, she has to lay on her side with a pillow under her back and another pillow in between her legs. She cannot lay face down and can barely get on and off the treatment table. It’s extremely painful for her to lay down, sit up or move at all. She’s crying and wincing in pain at every transition. She has an aid that drives her and helps her for half the day, then she manage herself in the evening.
- For the acupuncture in Coconut Creek therapy, I chose to use 30 gauge, 1.5 CUN Needles from the Peace Brand. She was little sensitive to the needles on insertion. I could have probably used thinner, shorter needles to make her more comfortable during the process. But knowing it was stenosis with radiculopathy, I wanted to make sure we can generate enough micro-inflammation. I felt this way would get better results and start the proliferation and regenerative process of the wound healing cascade. Patient is on medicare so it was expensive for her to come out of pocket for 5 sessions.
- The points chosen started off locally to affect the surrounding Para-spinal nerves around the stenosis. I started with Hua Tou Jia Ji around Lumbar 4 and Du 3. Du 4 and Ub 23 to firm of Kidney Qi. Ub 25 R, Ub 53 L, Ub 54 L, Ub 62 L, Kd 3 R, Gb 34 L,
Gb 30 L, Gb 31 L, Gb 39 L, Yao Yuan L, Sp 10 L, St 36 L, St 34 L. I used some light flicking manipulation as lifting, twisting and thrusting was too strong for her. She complained about it hurting and I was worried it may be too moving of a treatment on a frail constitution for someone of her age.)
- An Infrared TDP Lamp was used on the Lumbar region and I sprayed Zheng Gu Shui Oil over the areas with the needles in to further move any blood stasis and act as an analgesic. I like to spray it on after needling sometimes so they can feel it soaking in around the needles. It stimulates the whole area and forces the patient to tense and relax that region via a mind-body connection.
- After the Zheng Gu Shui dried, I used the stick on Smokeless Moxa in about 5-7 pieces trailing the nerve root from around L4 over to the bladder and gall bladder channel, and all the way to below the knee around GB 34. She is definitely on the deficient side with no heat symptoms, so I figured moxibustion would be a viable choice for her pain. It could help break blood stasis and spur regeneration. It’s also very traditional and has a long history of success with our acupuncture in Coconut Creek clinic and thousands of years in China . Until a few trips to China, I didn’t realize it’s actually much more popular and used more widely than acupuncture in the East. After realizing it’s potential, I try to use it on every patient who is not specifically contra-indicated for it and I’ve had great success.
- Before the patient left, I would put a Moxa Patch on her lower lumbar. They tend to get pretty hot and last a while. I like that it delivers more medicine for a half a day after the treatment. and the little stick on Moxa is not always enough.
- Patient has a Pacemaker so it was not possible to use E-stim. I always prefer to use acupuncture in our Coconut Creek clinic and the methods above for a few treatments first anyway. And if I’m not getting results, then go to E-Stim. Sometimes I will alternate sessions between E-stim and Heat/Moxa. With her weak constitution, I would prefer to avoid the electro-acupuncture. However, I find it works very well for severe cases and generally spinal stenosis, sciatica and radiculopathy are all good candidates for electro acupuncture in Coconut Creek.
- After the first treatment, patient was sore but thankful. The Physical Therapist made it clear to her that because of the severity of her condition she needs to come at least a few days a week in the beginning. She came back for another treatment the next day. Almost miraculously, she came in the next day with no wheel chair and was back to using a walker. She was moving much faster, displayed a better attitude, was smiling and seemed to be positive about the course of the treatment. She reported pain as being much better.
- I did not expect to see much of a change in the tongue and pulse within a couple weeks with no herbal formulas and for someone at that age. I checked every time and it seemed to be about the same and unremarkable overall.
- Because the treatment seemed to be successful, I decided to repeat the process again the next day and see what happens. I figured from the wheel chair to the walker was good testimony that it was working. Also, a few of the staff in the office had made comments to her about that the next day as they were relieved to see her walking and being in a better mood. They are very caring, but I think they had grown tired of her constant complaints.
- After the second treatment in one week, she was able to return to her exercise class the next day. But this actually inflamed her shoulders a bit. The relief from the treatment lasted about three days and the pain returned. But the levels were much less significant than before.
- The Third & Fourth treatments were the next week and the patient reported she had zero pain in the back and much less pain in the knee. I was shocked as we were taught stenosis was one of the most difficult things to treat and the results would not last. Honestly, I also did not have much hope because of the age of the patient. At 94 years old, I was not confident she had much room for improvement.
- The next week, Patient was much better and only came for one visit as opposed to twice a week like the last two weeks. She still had zero back pain but there was still some unresolved knee pain.
- So after her 5 treatments in three weeks, the patient wanted to take some time off away from Doctors. Against the advice of the Physical Therapist that referred her, she wanted to save the money and see if the treatment would last. The PT told her if its working, continue for at least another week or two to get the full affects. But she went against his advice and took two weeks off from Treatments.
- When she came back in two weeks later, she surprisingly still had zero back pain. But the knee and leg pain had returned to significant levels and was hindering her movement. She was still much better than before we had started and the back was fine, but I was not able to resolve all her problems in the 6 sessions that we had together over a 6 week course.
- The acupuncture in Coconut Creek treatments had tremendously successful results where conventional medicine had completely failed her and left the patient nearly crippled and feeling hopeless.
- I think a treatment protocol of three treatments per week for three to four weeks would have yielded significantly better results. The pain would have been reduced much further and the effects longer lasting. Chance of an early readmission into the system would have reduced greatly. A couple months went by, and now she is back at Therapy again 2-3 days per week with little results for the knee. The back pain is still not an issue but the therapist believes it is stemming from L4-L5 nerves and that my treatments were helping and would have continued to help.
- Time off in early Treatment phases greatly reduces positive outcomes. Even if she had maintained two sessions per week for 3-4 weeks with no breaks in between, effects could have been much better.
- A combination of Physical Therapy and Acupuncture together on a 2-3 days per week basis would be ideal for rehabilitation of injuries, trauma and pain.
- Patient was on Medicare and treatment cost is prohibitive. It was the main reason why she did not continue the care past six treatments. If more insurance coverage was available and comparable to Physical Therapy and Chiropractic, millions of Americans could drastically improve quality of life and avoid risking side effects, addiction and overdose on Opiods. Its almost unbelievable that insurance companies pay for nearly unlimited therapy or chiropractic and we can’t even bill for a handful of sessions. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has proven to help so many people and has miraculous like results sometimes.
- I think patient maybe could have benefited even more from E-Stim if it was possible. I would have like to try homeopathic injections like Arnica, Traumeel, Zeel, Guna Lumbar + Neural and maybe even some B-12 locally to the lumbar and knee regions to see if there was any additional improvement.
- I was able to get a wonderful video testimonial from the patient and I still see her around the office and we are on friendly terms. Overall, I think I did a great job going into a very difficult situation, but I still feel disappointed that I didn’t fix all her problems. Not because six treatments was not enough, but more because we have to operate in a broken health care system that sets patients up to fail. Rather than help them get better, it’s designed so they can be lead into expensive and many times unnecessary surgeries, and become dependent on toxic chemicals. She recently told me that she continues to take the Oxy. They don’t work for her pain, but they help her sleep at night.
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