How Effective is Acupuncture at Treating Neck Pain?
Some of us understand the expression “a pain in the neck” all too well. More than 20% of adults experience neck pain during their lifetime that is severe enough to interfere with their day to day life. Many of these complaints of neck pain occur frequently. If you’ve ever experienced acute or chronic neck pain, then you understand the annoyance it can bring and the desire to remedy it. Historically those who use Western medicine have turned to oral anti-inflammatory medications that can have adverse effects on the body when used long term. Many people these days are turning to the more natural alternatives found in Eastern medicine such as acupuncture.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture involves the use of extremely fine needles gently inserted into the surface of the skin at specific areas on the body. If you don’t like the thought of needles, don’t worry, these are so small most people barely feel them! But they do feel the effects of them working. This form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) aims to relieve pain and other ailments by clearing blockages in the flow of energy, also known as qi (pronounced “chee”). When these pathways in the body, referred to as meridians, are blocked or are imbalanced, it can result in illness, inflammation, pain, and a variety of other symptoms. Through acupuncture, areas of the body like the neck can experience significant relief and healing.
Neck Pain Causes and Symptoms
Neck pain occurs when stress is placed on the spine through a variety of causes such as a car accident, work injury, poor body mechanics, or energy blockages. Sometimes it may be hard to pinpoint any cause at all. When the body is experiencing pain, it is essential to take the steps necessary to allow the body to heal itself naturally. One great way to remedy neck pain is through the use of acupuncture. Many patients who treat neck pain with acupuncture find they have more range of motion, decreased pain and inflammation, and less muscle tension. Neck pain can be categorized as acute or chronic, and the pain can range from mild to severe. Pain from the neck can also radiate into the face and jaw, shoulders, or upper back.
General symptoms of neck pain can include:
- Stabbing pain
- Shooting pain
- Muscle Spasms
Acupuncture for Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic pain in any area of the body can be described as an ongoing pain lasting longer than about six months. In a study completed and published in the Journal of Pain regarding the effects of acupuncture on chronic pain, the findings “conclude that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, with treatment effects persisting over time” and that “acupuncture was superior to sham as well as no acupuncture control for each pain condition”. Many of the patients in this study suffered specifically from chronic neck pain and found great relief.
Acupuncture for Acute Neck Pain
Acute pain can be defined as pain that lasts less than three to six months and usually occurs suddenly. Acute neck pain usually occurs due to an injury of some sort. This can range from falling asleep with poor posture one night to getting whiplash from a car accident. Treating acute neck pain using acupuncture can prevent it from turning into a chronic condition and allow for healing and pain relief without the use of over-the-counter medications.
Get Relief from Neck Pain with Acupuncture
If you are experiencing symptoms of neck pain, whether chronic or acute, we recommend speaking with our trained acupuncturist today. During a thorough consultation, our trained acupuncturist will determine the way to best use acupuncture to give you pain relief and treat your neck pain. We also offer other treatments to complement acupuncture such as herbal medicine, electroacupuncture, Tui Na, and Gua Sha. Contact Lotus Studio Acupuncture today to learn more or call 303-882-6169!