Acupuncture To Treat Raynaud's Syndrome in Sherwood Park, AB

About Raynaud’s Phenomenon

A rare condition in which blood vessels react in an extreme way to cold or stress, Raynaud’s phenomenon is named for the French medical student who first described it in 1862. It is sometimes called Raynaud’s syndrome or Raynaud’s disease, but it’s not a disease, it’s just a variant of the body’s natural temperature control function. Traditional treatment involves avoiding the cold and taking nifedipine, a medication that dilates small arteries. However, while nifedipine can reduce the severity of attacks by as much as 90 percent, may people stop taking it because of undesirable side effects, opting to address Raynaud’s with natural treatment instead. Often, using acupuncture for Raynaud’s can be an effective treatment method.

Understanding Raynaud’s Syndrome

One way our body deals with fluctuations in temperature is through the dilation and constriction of blood vessels under the skin. When we’re hot, we flush as these small blood vessels dilate (widen) and bring blood to the surface to let warmth escape. When we’re cold, the same blood vessels constrict to preserve warmth. For people with Raynaud’s, the reaction is exaggerated. At a slight downward shift in temperature, the blood vessels constrict tightly in what’s known as a vasospastic attack. This blocks blood flow and causes the skin to turn blue, then white, then red, as the vessels reopen. Not everyone with Raynaud’s experiences all three color changes, or all in the same order, but all patients fall into one of two Raynaud’s categories. Primary Raynaud’s just means the person has healthy blood vessels that are overly sensitive, while secondary Reynaud’s is a more serious form of the phenomenon, caused by damage from an underlying disease or condition.

Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon? In addition to the changes in skin color, symptoms include coldness, numbness, clumsiness, warmth, tingling, or throbbing. Symptoms only occur when the blood vessels are in spasm, and can sometimes be accompanied by warning signs of a more serious illness. Skin sores, pain, asymmetry of symptoms, rashes or skin changes, fever, chest pain, extreme heartburn , or weakness are all symptoms that should be taken seriously enough to prompt a visit to the doctor. In primary Raynaud’s, the symptoms typically resolve themselves with 15 to 20 minutes, while the attacks may be longer and more severe in secondary Raynaud’s.

What causes Raynaud’s phenomenon? It is not clear what causes primary Raynaud’s, but secondary Raynaud’s is usually the result of an underlying autoimmune disease. These include scleroderma, which leads to hardening and scarring of body tissues, systemic lupus erythematosus, which causes inflammation and damage in parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys, and vasculitis, which causes blood vessel inflammation. Secondary Raynaud’s can also be caused by certain types of medication, or by injury to the hands and feet, especially repetitive trauma.

When should you see a doctor? The more severe symptoms of Raynaud’s require professional medical treatment. Especially if the attacks are severe and sores or ulcers develop on the fingers or toes, it’s important to see a doctor to avoid developing gangrene (tissue death). If the attacks only occur on one side of the body, this is another source of concern that warrants medical attention.

Raynaud's Phenomenon Hands Treatment in Sherwood Park, AB

Diagnosis & Treatments

How do we diagnose Raynaud’s phenomenon? Raynaud’s affects about five percent of Americans, and doctors often diagnose it as a disease, syndrome, of phenomenon, depending on the symptoms and cause. Raynaud’s is diagnosed after a physical exam and questions about symptoms, and a test called a nailfold capillaroscopy can differentiate between primary and secondary Raynaud’s.

How do we treat Raynaud’s phenomenon? Raynaud’s can be treated with calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, or antidepressants, but we at All Deep Massage and Wellness Clinic prefer acupuncture for Raynaud’s syndrome. This is a logical course of treatment because we’ve long known the effectiveness of acupuncture for circulation. Research indicates that acupuncture for Raynaud’s disease can provide a long-lasting reduction in vasospastic attacks. By treating the right acupuncture points for Raynaud’s syndrome, practitioners can dramatically improve the condition without the need for medication and the side effects that go along with it. There are certain acupuncture points for Raynaud’s that are used in all cases, while other points can be customized to treat the individual patient.

Are there complications from Raynaud’s phenomenon?

Typically, Raynaud’s phenomenon has no lasting effect. However, without treatment, severe cases can impede blood flow and permanently damage the tissue, impairing healing of cuts and abrasions or even leading to ulcers, scarring, and tissue death. That’s why it is important to seek treatment if you are troubled by Raynaud’s.

Personalized Treatment for Raynaud’s Phenomenon

If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture treatment for Raynaud’s syndrome, you’ll find personalized treatment plans at All Deep Massage & Wellness Clinic. Our center is a place of healing and rejuvenation for people of all ages, and we provide a wide range of massage and acupuncture treatments to alleviate pain and suffering from both acute and chronic conditions, resulting in long-lasting relief. Since 2007, All Deep Massage & Wellness Clinic has served clients in Sherwood Park and the surrounding area, and we’re dedicated to the health and well-being of our clients. All of our massage therapists are licensed and registered with a professional massage therapy association in the Province of Alberta, and we hire therapists with a minimum of 2200 hours of formal training. Our therapists are highly trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, remedial exercise and stretching, nutrition, orthopedic assessment, soft tissue therapy, and hydrotherapy, and we promote ethics and professional conduct as key characteristics of our business. Dedicated to providing exceptional service, we assess each client’s individual needs, designing a treatment plan that addresses current conditions and helps prevent them from reoccurring. To learn more about how we can help you feel refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated, contact us today!