Ian Thomas B.Vet.Med., Cert V.A., MRCVS, hosts a pain man­age­ment clin­ic, offer­ing acupunc­ture and anal­gesic solu­tions on a first opin­ion and refer­ral basis.

Acupunc­ture has been used for mil­len­nia to ben­e­fit peo­ple and ani­mals; how­ev­er it was not until the 1960s that the west­ern world looked to inte­grate and har­ness its effects with­in our mod­ern under­stand­ing of med­i­cine.
Although it has many appli­ca­tions in vet­eri­nary med­i­cine, acupunc­ture is prob­a­bly most use­ful in the treat­ment of chron­ic, painful con­di­tions such as osteoarthri­tis. WSAVA Guide­lines for Recog­ni­tion, Assess­ment and Treat­ment of Pain (2014) rec­om­mend includ­ing acupunc­ture in an anal­gesic regime as soon as possible.

Nee­dle place­ment is well tol­er­at­ed by the major­i­ty of patients, but the micro trau­ma caused by inser­tion is reg­is­tered by the brain. This caus­es the release of nat­ur­al painkillers called endor­phins; while the release of oth­er sub­stances caus­es a damp­ing down of sig­nals from chron­ic sources of pain like joint dis­ease.
Acupunc­ture has no real side effects, is very safe and can be used in con­junc­tion with all oth­er treat­ment modal­i­ties to aid mobility.

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