Acupuncture for Neck Pain:

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to alleviate various health conditions, including neck pain. While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, here are several theories on how acupuncture helps with neck pain:

  • Stimulation of Endorphins: Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals. Endorphins help reduce pain perception and promote a sense of well-being.
  • Modulation of Pain Pathways: Acupuncture influences the transmission of pain signals along the nerves, effectively interrupting the pain pathway from the neck to the brain. This modulation can lead to reduced pain sensations.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Studies have shown that acupuncture has anti-inflammatory effects. By reducing inflammation around the neck area, it can alleviate pain caused by inflamed muscles, ligaments, or nerves.
  • Improved Blood Flow: Acupuncture enhances blood circulation in the body. Better blood flow promotes tissue healing and reduces muscle stiffness, which are common contributors to neck pain.
  • Nervous System Regulation: Acupuncture has a regulatory effect on the autonomic nervous system. By balancing the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) systems, it can reduce tension and stress that are exacerbating neck pain.
  • Myofascial Release: The insertion and manipulation of acupuncture needles in specific points helps to release tension in tight muscles and fascia around the neck, providing relief from pain.
  • Placebo Effect: The placebo effect can play a role in the perceived benefits of acupuncture. Belief and expectation of pain relief from acupuncture can trigger the release of neurotransmitters that reduce pain sensations.

It’s important to note that while many people experience relief from neck pain through acupuncture, individual responses can vary. Acupuncture is often used as a complementary therapy alongside conventional medical treatments. If you’re considering acupuncture for neck pain or any other condition, it’s essential to consult with a  Licensed Acupuncturist for your specific situation. If your neck pain is severe or persistent, it’s also helpful to get an orthopedist’s evaluation.

Given that there are virtually no harmful side effects resulting from acupuncture for pain by a Licensed Acupuncturist (except for rare instances of bruising or a few drops of blood with needle withdrawal), acupuncture should be at the top of the list of things to try if you are experiencing neck pain. Click her to learn more about how acupuncture works.

This is in stark contrast to the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which surprisingly for some, have made Adverse Drug Reactions the 4th leading cause of death in the United States!

While we do occasionally hit it out of the park on the first try and patients’ pain is gone, in fairness it is best to try a series of 3-6 sessions to see how well acupuncture for neck pain can help, and especially before you do drugs or surgery. (However acupuncture also complements conventional medical treatments because it helps the body to heal). Here is a large meta-study on the effectiveness of acupuncture. And here is a meta-study on the effectiveness of acupuncture for neck pain:
Randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for neck pain: systematic review and meta-analysis

Keep in mind that there are stages of healing and treatment: Stage 1 deals with putting out the fire and getting rid of aches and pains. Stage 2 involves treating the underlying conditions that allowed the aches and pains to develop. And Stage 3 is a maintenance program for those who would like to be proactive and prevent the imbalances and resulting symptoms from returning.

As every journey begins with the first step, schedule an appointment for acupuncture for pain with the link below:

Lafayette Acupuncture & Functional Medicine Hours

  • Mondays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesdays 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Wednesdays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Thursdays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Fridays 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Saturdays Closed
  • Sundays Closed