Neck pain is a frequent complaint. It’s actually one of the most common sources of chronic pain alongside low back pain, and severe headaches or migraines.
The neck muscles can be strained by poor posture — whether it’s leaning over your computer or looking down at your phone. Inflammation, or injury like whiplash can cause neck pain or stiffness. Ongoing tension can cause headaches.
The recent chronic pain guidelines recommend acupuncture as one of the first line treatment options for neck pain and stiffness.
More effective than drugs and physical therapy
In 2015 it a famous study on acupuncture and neck pain was published in Annals of Internal Medicine. It was widely covered by media (Time, Webmd, Reuters). The lead researcher Hugh MacPherson, PhD wanted to explore how acupuncture compares to medications and physical therapy.
It involved 517 people suffering from neck pain for an average of six years. This means that those people over 6 years have tried a variety therapies and nothing worked. Six years is a long time to be in pain.
Study participants had 10 acupuncture sessions. They reported, that following acupuncture, 12 months after the treatment pain was reduced by more than 30%.
Acupuncture was also more effective compared with drugs and traditional physical therapy. None of those options had to have a long term effect.
With pain patients, many of them will get steroid injections or take an anti inflammatory drug, like ibuprofen or a prescription medication. Those medications or injections have an anti-inflammatory effect, but the acupuncture needles can do that, naturally, and you don’t get any side effects.
“No other single treatment [but Acupuncture and Alexander Technique] is known to provide long-term benefits”
Hugh MacPherson PhD, University of York, U.K.
A natural long-term solution
Acupuncture is effective at reducing pain and tension, the effects are often similar or better than medication. But what is remarkable, that after acupuncture you are likely to get a long lasting relief.
An example of this is a study of Norwegian office workers who suffered from chronic neck pain and headaches. Study participants felt acupuncture’s benefits for 3 years following a course of treatment.
Acupuncture had a long lasting pain relief in another study from Germany. Researchers recruited 14,161 individuals with neck pain that lasted at least six months. Half of them received up to 15 acupuncture sessions over three months. Many of them had a significant relief and most importantly treatment success was essentially maintained for at least six months.
Acupuncture not only alleviates pain, it also reduces muscle spasm, thereby increasing mobility. Joint damage often results from muscle malfunction, and many patients complain of arthralgia before any changes are demonstrable by X-ray. In these cases, acupuncture may bring about a permanent cure.
Neck pain and headaches
Neck pain or injuries can often lead to headaches.
We offer you safe and natural pain relief from both. We use gentle massage and acupuncture to relax your neck muscles, to recover the full range of movement.
Would it not feel great to reduce the discomfort when driving and to have a nice sound sleep on any pillow? Reduce or completely stop tension headaches and migraines?
Learn more about acupuncture for neck pain condition from our blog.