Pain management clinics may recommend acupuncture for chronic pain. Typically, this alternative treatment to prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications is used to treat back paint, neck pain, and joint pain.
Acupuncture has its roots in Chinese medicine. To adjust the flow of energy of qi through the body, the acupuncturist may insert long, sharp needles into the affected area. Electrical acupuncture is also available at some pain management clinics.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) sponsors acupuncture research in the United States. Most physicians view acupuncture as a safe alternative to Western medicine, although some doctors dispute its effectiveness.