Acupuncture is a well proven path to treat all manners of pain, be it muscular, arthritic or internal (for instance digestive pain). It is also useful for general pain syndromes where pain is felt throughout the body.
The treatment of general musculo-skeletal pain has long been a mainstay of acupuncture therapy. I very commonly add into the treatment one of the many adjuncts of acupuncture, which may include cupping, moxibustion, Gua Sha, and Tui Na.
New research has been undertaken that has led to widespread adoption of acupuncture in standard medical practice. Acupuncture has been shown to be clinically effective in the treatment of lower back pain in a 2009 study that then was adopted in NICE guidelines.
The treatment of back pain with acupuncture is usually quite straightforward. Success is often linked with changes in lifestyle and posture. Some guidelines for exercise will be given if needed. As a rule of thumb the length of treatment is very much connected with the length that the condition has been present for.
Back conditions usually split into two types. The first type may be thought of as a long term condition usually not of an excruciating pain level but as a long-term discomfort. The second type is a much more short-term condition and often is characterised by quite extreme levels of pain. Often the first type of back pain was present first, indicating that there was a long time weakness in the area... but this may very commonly give way to the second type. Treatment of this second type of back pain (=acute) usually will require quite extensive treatment with acupuncture, (actually this would also be the case for any kind of treatment for instance physiotherapy) commonly with treatments twice a week for at least four weeks, then this giving way to treatments on a weekly basis for a few weeks then spacing out to once a fortnight and then once a month. Recovery will be gradual but in an overall positive direction. For symptoms like sciatica the rate and type of recovery is very similar to the above description.
the first type of back pain is usually due to long-term tiredness and poor posture. Long periods of sitting and other sedentary activities will usually contribute to this issue. Treatment of this long-term back pain (= chronic) is best thought of as a long-term approach, with a few weekly treatments giving way to fortnightly then monthly treatment.
Many sorts of musculoskeletal pain, such as plantar fascitis, tennis elbow and sciatica are often referred to an acupuncturist, very often by general practitioners and hospital consultants. Indeed acupuncture has so well embraced by the medical community that doctors and physiotherapists are learning this healing art for themselves. However, as degree educated traditional acupuncture practitioners, we feel that we are best placed to give this treatment form.
Evidence released in 2015 will show that acupuncture is clinically effective in the treatment of chronic neck pain.
The treatment of neck or shoulder pain is very successful with acupuncture. Detailed assessment of the injury is carried out and variety of treatments can be applied to the area these may include local massage, moxibustion, cupping and Gua Sha.
There is often a psychological and emotional components to shoulder and neck problems and acupuncture is clearly positioned to address those aspects along with the treatment of the actual physical problem.
Recovery is very much related to the length of time that the original condition. For quite severe cases treatment twice a week is recommended in all cases I recommend considering a course of treatment of at least four sessions, and this will be very usefully extended with a fortnightly and then monthly treatment. As an all acupuncture treatments for those who feel a benefit to receiving the treatment I recommend treatments once every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain wellness.