New research indicates that acupuncture may offer slight relief to people who are suffering from chronic pain; however, the treatment isn’t the best approach to relieving pain associated with TMJ disorder.

A Little Pain Relief

To determine whether acupuncture offers any real pain relief researchers looked at 29 separate studies involving approximately 18,000 participants, who were suffering from backaches, arthritis and other types of recurring pain. Ultimately, they discovered that acupuncture appeared to provide slightly more pain relief than did placebo treatments, which are used to make subjects believe they are receiving acupuncture, when they are actually receiving no treatment at all.

Expert Casts Doubt

According to at least one expert, this latest research doesn’t necessarily prove that acupuncture is useful at relieving chronic pain. Dr. Stephen Barrett, a retired psychiatrist who runs a website that exposed medical scams, says most acupuncture studies operate under strict conditions that do not mirror how the procedure is carried out in the real world. That being said, some physicians believe the treatment may be valuable to certain patients, even if it only offers psychological benefits.

Not for TMJ Sufferers

Even if acupuncture offers noticeable pain relief, it’s not the best treatment for people who are enduring symptoms associated with TMJ. Because the alternative treatment does not correct a misaligned bite, it cannot target the source of TMJ pain. Ultimately, pain will return unless patients receive a lasting TMJ treatment that will correct their misaligned bites.

Contact Dr. Dunayer to learn how he can permanently cure your TMJ pain.