Types of chronic pain

Acupuncture is now 1 of 4 therapies approved by NICE, the National Institute of Health & Care, to manage chronic pain. Its new guidance is in response to reducing the number of prescriptions for opioids and other painkillers.

Link to NICE article

NICE recommends Acupuncture


Chronic pain is classed as pain that persists for more than 3 months.  Firstly, it can be primary pain where no known underlying condition exists.  Secondary pain which is caused by an underlying condition both can be experienced at the same time.

Perisistent pain can affect all aspects of life from work, sleep, physical, physiological wellbeing to relationships.

It can be associated with conditions such as: fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, arthritis, neuropathic, muscular skeletal, post herpetic neuralgia and internal organ pain such as IBS, gastrointestinal, cystitis, and endometriosis.


Acupuncture has a long history of helping with pain and there is lots of evidence to support it use and effectiveness.  This is because treatments are tailored to the individual, so treating the person as a whole, taking into account type of pain, the triggers whether physical or emotional.

The other recommended therapies were:

Supervised exercise programmes and physical activity

Psychological therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy)

Pharmacological management – antidepressants


NICE no longer recommends GPs to prescribe painkillers as there is little evidence they improve people’s pain, quality of life or psychological distress.  Also, there is evidence they may do more harm than good, including addiction.  Problems in the USA demonstrate the growing addiction issues to opioids with over prescription.

If you are affected by pain and find that your prescriptions have now changed and/or you would like an alternative way to manage your pain, get in touch.  Happy to give a free 10 minute phone consutlation.