Person with back to you highlighting area of chronic neck pain that can be helped with acupuncture or dry needling

At Absolute Health and Wellness, we strive to help all patients, including those experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain is considered any pain endured for more than 3 months.

Evidenced Based Recommendations for Chronic Pain

There are many aspects of to managing chronic pain, our team at Absolute Health & Wellness emphasizes the following  [1]:

  1. Neuroscience Pain Education [14]
  2. Exercise programs [15]
  3. Self Management [16]
  4. Stress Management [17]
  5. Sleep Management [18]
  6. Passive Treatments: this includes manual therapies, including trigger point acupuncture (also known as dry needling) [1].
  7. Active Treatments: this includes in-session exercise as well as a home exercise program to help retrain the nervous system and get you back to full function.

Chronic Pain: Central Sensitization Is Key

The science behind chronic pain has evolved within the last several years.

Central sensitization is a huge part of our understanding of pain. Central sensitization is defined as: an amplification of neural signalling within the central nervous system that elicits a pain hypersensitivity and an increased responsiveness of nociceptive neurons in the nervous system [19].

In general terms: you feel and sense MORE pain than you should based on the stimulus. These changes occur in people with chronic pain and in some cases get worse over time.

Many people with chronic pain lack a clear origin of nociceptive input (or the doctor is unable to properly identify it), or the input is not severe enough to explain the experienced pain severity, related disability, or other symptoms. This is the heart of central sensitization: more pain is felt than one would expect. It isn’t all in a person’s head, these changes happen at a neuronal level [1].

Central sensitization in chronic pain - the key of treating chronic pain is to realize that pain is no longer a reliable messenger

Trigger Points in Chronic Pain

Trigger points fall into the realm of central sensitization: they provide nociceptive stimuli from the periphery but are not representative of tissue damage per se. Evidence shows that central sensitization can also promote trigger point activity, creating a bidirectional interaction.

Trigger point acupuncture (also referred to as dry needling), has been proven to help in pain conditions. Click here to learn more about trigger points, and click here to learn how acupuncture helps.


People suffering from chronic pain should be aware of the concepts of central sensitization. When they seek treatment for their pain, it’s important their health care providers are implementing the most robust plan and consider central sensitization.

Trigger points are prevalent in those with chronic pain, and acupuncture is an effective, proven method to release trigger points. For more information book in at Absolute Health and Wellness.


Interested in learning more?

Read on in our series of articles on Pain Management!

About the Author - Sonia Gashgarian

woman facing camera

Sonia Gashgarian is a registered physiotherapist who graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours from the University of Waterloo. Sonia has completed courses in sports taping and basic kinesio-taping, as well as the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Mulligan Concept. She also has her APTEI Acupuncture and Dry Needling Certification.

Sonia uses a variety of treatment techniques to help clients feel better and return to their regular activities as soon as possible. Her individualized treatments may include the following: education, joint mobilizations, exercise prescription, soft tissue release, trigger point release, taping, acupuncture and dry needling, cupping, and Gua Sha.

To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.

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