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DoctorGetWell's Monthly Column
Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; February 2002

Chronic back pain.

Question:
I have chronic backaches. I am afraid that if I begin acupuncture, I will be going for treatments indefinitely. How long will I expect to go?

Answer:
   No, you will not have to go indefinitely. Most of my patients feel some relief after the first session. After the second or third session there can be a temporary setback for a few days. Do not be discouraged. It is a good sign, and better than no change at all. The gradual and steady improvement begins after that “healing crisis”. After 6 acupuncture sessions it will be time for an assessment.
    Acupuncture has a “cumulative effect”, that is why timing is very important during the initial phase of the treatment course. The first 3-4 sessions should ideally take place every second day. Then, it is recommended to have 2-3 sessions per week.
    If the intervals between the sessions are too long we have to start everything “from scratch”. The full course of acupuncture treatments can take up to 15 sessions, and you may need another several sessions within a year.
    The acupuncture course is a process; it is not a quick fix. Pain reduction is only one of the effects of acupuncture. Most importantly it reduces inflammation, eliminates muscle spasm, activates blood circulation and accelerates the regenerative process. This makes the effects of acupuncture last.
    You don't have to stop treatment with your physical therapist, physician, chiropractor, or other health professional to be treated by an acupuncturist.
   You will benefit the most from an integrative approach of medicine, and acupuncture may be a crucial element to increase your chances for recovery and good health.
   You must feel better after 8-10 sessions. If you don’t, which is quite rare among my patients, there is a reason to suspect that your backaches may be not only spine-related but may be also due to a condition of the internal organs such as the kidneys, bladder or reproductive organs. Your physician has to rule out this unlikely possibility.
   
    Alex Tatevian, DA
   
   You can ask your questions on our website DoctorGetWell.org or email them to getwell@doctor.com or send them to:
   
   Alex Tatevian, DA
   Acu Well Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
   141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889
   Phone (401) 738-9355
 
 
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getwell@doctor.com 141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889 Tel (401) 738-9355   Fax (401) 679-0038