Chronic neck pain can hit you suddenly and unexpectedly as a result of emotional stress, poor posture, and many other factors. When faced with chronic neck pain, many people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers or muscle relaxants. In recent studies, however, acupuncture has been proven to treat the physical and psychological components connected to health issues like chronic neck pain more effectively than Western medical care. This leads to a faster recovery, greater improvement in motion, and natural pain relief.
Q1. Is there evidence to support the view that acupuncture is a beneficial treatment for chronic neck pain?
There have been many studies conducted to verify the positive effects of acupuncture for chronic pains in various parts of the body. According to a review published in the January 2017 Programme Grants for Applied Research 29 trials were conducted involving 18,000 people diagnosed with chronic neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, or knee problems. In the results, it was proven that acupuncture treatment led to a reduction in headaches and migraines, as well as lowered severity of neck and back pain.
In another study, 517 people who had been suffering from neck pain for over three months were divided into groups to test acupuncture against standard care. The results? Approximately 32% reported less pain than they had at the start of the study as a result of acupuncture compared to the 9% who treated neck pain with physical therapy and exercise.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also documented a number of diseases and conditions that have been effectively treated using acupuncture through clinical trials. It is important to note that a thorough examination conducted by your acupuncturist is required in order to assess the severity of your chronic neck pain and the necessary treatment.
Q2. How does acupuncture treat chronic neck pain?
Acupuncture inserts very thin needles into specific points on your body to treat physical pain, diseases, and emotional stresses. Acupuncture stimulates the release of pain-relieving endorphins and provides an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. In addition to helping release the stiffness of muscles around the neck, acupuncture can provide longer term pain relief compared to other treatments, according to researchers. There are also posture and lifestyle changes that are recommended by acupuncturists that standard care doesn’t typically provide chronic neck pain sufferers during their period of recovery.
Q3. What should I expect from an acupuncture session?
Many people are afraid to try acupuncture because they anticipate additional pain from the needles. In most instances, the hair-thin needles used in acupuncture only create a faint tingling sensation that goes away after some time. Some patients have also commented that they don’t feel the needles at all! Your acupuncturist will discuss your health in addition to the nature of your chronic neck pain. The acupuncture points chosen and the number of treatments will be decided based on the important information your acupuncturist has collected. Acupuncture is safe, natural, and effective!
Q4. Can acupuncture make neck pain worse?
Sometimes people may experience side effects of acupuncture that feel as though their neck pain is worse. The intensified feelings of pain, however, occur because the human body is on the road to self-healing. When acupuncture activates self-healing capabilities, the body transitions to greater bodily awareness by exacerbating some of the symptoms lying dormant in areas that are being treated.
This increased intensity of tension a common symptom that takes one or two days to process as the body is healing more quickly. Most pains following acupuncture sessions are not life-threatening and calm down within a short period of time.
Q5. How many acupuncture sessions does it take to help neck pain?
The number of acupuncture treatments it takes to relieve neck pain will differ from person to person based on the severity of their pain. With mild neck pain, people can feel dramatic changes within the first couple of treatments whereas people with chronic conditions will need one to two treatments per week for several months.
According to Harvard Health Publications, people should plan on weekly treatments until they feel beneficial changes before gradually lengthening the time between visits. Many centers for integrative medicine also recommend speaking with acupuncturists about individualised treatment plans so that you can expect an estimated number of treatments to meet your needs.
Hope this helps.