Suffering from Neck Pain? Try Acupuncture for Longer Term Relief
Chronic neck pain can be quite painful and debilitating. While traditional methods of treatment offer immediate relief.
What are the symptoms of neck pain?
Although neck pain is one of the top-five known chronic pain conditions, not much attention has been paid to it in terms of research to find a lasting solution. Neck pain can often be debilitating and lead to immense financial as well as physical losses. In recent times, the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has proven to be quite effective in mitigating the effects of chronic neck pain in numerous researches. When neck muscles get very tight, the circulation to your eyes, your brain and heart can be compromised. Since all the nerves from bottom of the feet and all the internal organs go up through your neck, the neck pain can cause weakness and numbness of your hand, difficulty to breath, dry eye, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and anxiety.
Understanding Neck Pain and Its Causes
Neck pain is medically defined as any pain in the neck or shoulder that varies in intensity from a simple ache to an electric shock running from the neck to the arm. Generally, neck pain is understood to be caused by prolonged strain on the neck by continuously looking up or down, wrong sleep posture, stress, or sometimes even carrying heavy bags. Compression of the nerves, injuries to the neck in accidents, arthritis, and herniated disc are also known to cause neck pain.
Treatments Available for Neck Pain
Most treatment regimens for neck pain, like alternating an ice pack with heat or gentle stretching and massage, are only designed to offer quick and short relief. Even medical solutions are limited to pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication. However, medical research has been able to establish that acupuncture neck pain protocol may be able to provide longer term relief for chronic neck pain without any side effects, if the acupuncture is applied by a well trained acupuncturist.
How Can Acupuncture help neck pain?
Acupuncture is a great way to treat chronic pain as it relieves the pain and seeks to treat the underlying causes, thereby removing the pain from the root. Acupuncture needles are inserted at specific points near the spine, hands, scalp and feet to quickly rebalance the muscles and ligaments. Furthermore, acupuncture can quickly improve the circulation to your neck and other joints to reduce the swelling of the nerves, which will help herniated disc or pinched nerve condition. The insertion of the needles causes the body to release natural pain-relieving chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, so patients not only have pain relive, but also have reduced stress and anxiety. When the circulation is improved to neck and shoulder joints, your body can repair the wear and tear much more effectively. Therefore, even if you do not have severe neck pain, acupuncture helps you to prevent the arthritis in your neck, shoulder and knee from fast wear and tear.
Scientific support for reliving neck pain by acupuncture:
A recent study published in the J. of Pain in 2018 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29198932/) reviewed 39 clinical trials that included 20, 827 patients with musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache or shoulder pain. The research concluded that acupuncture has better and longer lasting clinical effect compared to the no acupuncture control group (P<0.001). Furthermore, pain relief decreased by 15% after patients stopped acupuncture for a year. This review study indicated that acupuncture for chronic pain cannot be explained by only placebo effects.
How to avoid neck pain when you have to work in front of computer for many hours a day?
1. Stretching every day before you go to sleep and during the day
2. Drink enough fluid to keep the good circulation to your neck, knee and back joints
3. Avoid spicy food and high sugar to reduce the inflammation in your neck and back joints.
4. Eat sufficient fruit and vegetables to slow down the degeneration of your neck, back and knee joints.
5. Have acupuncture every two week even you have no severe neck pain to keep the muscles and ligaments in a balanced condition.
Before you decide to have neck or back surgery, you can try acupuncture twice or three times a week for 12 to 24 treatments to see if your body can heal itself. If you really need to have surgery, acupuncture has been proven to help people recover from surgery and have better prognosis clinically. Reducing the inflammation and improve the circulation are the key factors to get rid of the pain and preserve your neck, back and knee function.