Acupuncture for Neck Pain
Acupuncture can be a very effective solution when treating most neck and shoulder problems.
Neck pain is the second most prominent musculoskeletal disorder affecting North Americans after the lower back pain. While there are a number of drugs and traditional treatments available for musculoskeletal pain, many individuals are now seeking the assistance of trained acupuncture specialists.
Acupuncture is currently the most common alternative treatment for body pain. It involves the insertion of thin stainless steel needles at specific points on the neck at varied depths, to accomplish a desirable result. Studies have revealed that it has a significant effect on neck pain, especially on those caused by whiplash. Individuals suffering from degenerative neck conditions like cervical spondylosis and ankylosing can also benefit from the services of a skilled acupuncture professional; acupuncture tends to work in most cases where conventional treatment methods fail.
Some professionals will use herbal medicines and acupressure in conjunction with acupuncture for treating patients who are experiencing neck pains. Acupressure helps to reduce muscle spasms and minimize pain along the neck, resulting in a more relax state of being. Herbal medicines are generally recommended to lessen muscle contractions and to improve blood circulation throughout the body.
How Acupuncture Helps to Reduce Neck Pain
When there’s a pain in your neck, you rub it. It’s a natural instinct to treat the area where the pain started rather than somewhere far away and this is how acupuncture works to ease pain. The basic theory is that pain occurs in different parts of the body due to the stagnation of blood or Qi (life force or energy). Pain that occurs when blood is stuck is generally intense, sharp and unbearable, while pain caused by Qi stagnation is often very mild. Both cases can be treated with acupuncture because it helps to improve blood circulation as well as control the flow of Qi throughout the body.
Acupuncture specialists work to normalize the circulation of Qi in meridians to alleviate neck pain. Meridians are invisible energy channels that ‘relay’ life energy/Qi throughout the body. The body has twelve major meridians, each of which is linked with a major internal organ. The bladder meridian, which relates to personal trauma and fear, runs across the base of the neck and is therefore primarily involved in acupuncture treatment for neck pain. Deep seated emotional fear is common among individuals suffering from neck pain, mainly from whiplash due to a traumatic accident, or tedious daily tasks. Qi often gets stuck along the base of the neck which is the primary point for relieving anxiety and fear.
Select an acupuncture specialist who will make the treatment process gentle and relaxing, even if the needles are manipulated to stimulate the neck. In some cases the treatment can be done without touching the neck but by stimulating distal points on the body that are linked to the bladder and other meridian points.
The number of treatments that are needed may vary with everyone but most people will start seeing improvements after the first treatment. Individuals with long-standing chronic neck pain may need to visit their acupuncturists twice per week to experience quick improvement. Fewer visits are required for patients with acute symptoms, usually eight visits are enough. Generally, your acupuncturist will present you with a personalized treatment plan during your first visit.