Acupuncture for Neck Pain


Acupuncture for Neck Pain

Acupuncture can definitely help ease neck pain. Neck pain, specifically cervical pain, can be acute or chronic. Acute neck pain usually occurs as a result of injury, such as sports, car accidents, although some commonplace activity, such as housework can serve a trigger. Most cases are due to strain on cervical muscles, and ligaments. Symptoms are usually muscle aches but can include tingling or shooting pain, trouble looking up, down, left or right. Neck pain lasting more than three months is considered chronic. acupuncture for neck pain acupuncture for cervical pain neck and shoulder pain New York

Scientific Research

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health quotes a large German study with more than 14,000 participants evaluated adding acupuncture to usual care for neck pain. The researchers found that participants reported greater pain relief than those who didn’t receive it. 

Acupuncture Treatment at Medicine of Changes Acupuncture Clinic

To treat neck pain with acupuncture successfully, the meridian theory has to be applied. Correct diagnosis is crucial for any doctor. For an acupuncturist determining the affected channel is the first step in providing fast relief for the neck pain. Once the affected channel (or channels) has been determined, the choices of meridians to treat can be analyzed and points can be selected. 

A typical treatment follows this routine: a patient is seated on the treatment table, and asked to point to the painful areas. They are also asked to turn their head to the right and left, up and down and evaluate the intensity of pain on the scale from zero (no pain) to ten (worst pain). The location of pain and movement restriction help to determine the affected channels. Based on the diagnosis, the treatment strategy is selected. The patient is asked to lay down in the face-up or face-down position. Generally speaking, no more than ten needles are inserted in a single session. Typical places of insertion are the back of the hand and the ankle joint on the opposite side. In the initial stages of the treatment, needles are not inserted into the painful area on the neck, because it may exacerbate the flareup. 

Upon the insertion of the needles, the patient is asked to move their neck, shrug their shoulders to see if the pain has diminished. If necessary, some of the needles are adjusted to create a more effective treatment. The needles are retained for approximately 30 minutes. During this time most patients fall asleep or stay in a pleasant trance-like state.  Most of the patients are asked to come for treatment once or twice per wee. In severe cases, treatment every day or every other day for a period of five days may be needed. acupuncture for neck pain acupuncture for cervical pain New York neck and shoulder pain

Does acupuncture hurt?

One misconception about acupuncture is that it hurts, and this is a reason that some people don’t want to try acupuncture. The treatment isn’t meant to hurt, though you may experience some sensations during your treatment. An acupuncture needle is very skinny, and the actual prick of the needle is painless. The acupuncture sensation comes when the needle awakens a reflex response from the body commonly known as Qi sensation. Some people perceive it as heavy, throbbing, or jumping, all of which are positive responses. This sensation usually dissipates within a minute, and most of the people find acupuncture treatment to be a pleasurable experience. 

Possible Causes of Neck Pain

  • Poor posture
  • Working at a desk for too long without changing position
  • Sleeping with your neck in an uncomfortable position
  • Jerking your neck during exercise

Other Causes of Neck Pain

In some cases, neck pain can be a symptom of some other disease that may require a more complex treatment strategy: 

  • Rheumatoid arthritis in the neck can cause pain, inflammation, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. 
  • Osteoporosis of the neck causes weakens bones and can lead to small fractures. 
  • Fibromyalgia causes muscle pain throughout the body, especially in the neck and shoulder region.
  • Cervical disc degeneration is also known as spondylosis, or osteoarthritis of the neck. This condition also adds stress to your joints. This can narrow the space between the vertebrae and cause nerve compression. 
  • Herniated or bulged cervical disc: when a disk protrudes, it may add pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots and cause chronic pain, tingling, numbness or even loss of motor function.
  • Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots. This is a chronic condition that develops due to long-term inflammation processes.

Andre Yershov, L.Ac.