Acupuncture a viable alternative in pain management - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Acupuncture a viable alternative in pain management

East meets West in this form of pain management. (Source: WAFF) East meets West in this form of pain management. (Source: WAFF)
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art of healing by the use of needles to alleviate pain.

Many patients swear by the results.

Julie Widick says she injured her back a few years ago, and the pain meant multiple surgeries and a desperate search for pain management. 

"In 1998 I had an accident with karate that ended up with a ruptured disc. And I was paralyzed and couldn't stand up for three seconds without falling over."

She says she went from a wheelchair to a walker and now uses a leg brace. She says she's been through multiple surgeries and several doctors. She was left with a drop foot. 

"The toes were basically paralyzed and would not move, but with a leg brace it moves it up this way, so I can walk," she described.

But that puts pressure on the other side of her body as it overcompensates. 

"One day I was at the hospital, visiting a friend, and a nurse noticed I had a drop foot and said that her husband went to see Dr. Hunter and he did acupuncture," Widick said.

Dr. Hunter goes into detail about how they use acupuncture. 

"What we've done is we've taken it from the Asian Arts to traditional western health care," Hunter said. 

He says this may not be exactly the type of acupuncture you might be familiar with. 

"What we're doing is we're trying to send a message and override the nerve message that is creating the pain. We're trying to negate that nerve message so that the swelling goes down and a nerve that runs and coincides will take over and eliminate that pain message." 

He says it also makes the muscles relax... a lot.

Dr. Hunter says he normally leaves those needles in for about 30 minutes.

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