Acupuncture and Neck Pain
The neck is one of the most flexible-and delicate-parts of the body. Throughout the day, many of us put stress on our necks without even realizing it. Unfortunately, this can be a literal “pain in the neck” causing stiffness, pain, and limited movement in the neck and even shoulders and arms.
If you suffer from neck pain, whether it’s occasional or chronic, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may just provide the relief you need.
What’s behind the pain in the neck?
Neck pain can be caused by a wide range of factors, including wear-and-tear, strains, sprains, or inflammation. A few of the most common culprits include:
Bad Posture: Bending or hunching forward for prolonged periods can cause strains (overstretched muscles) or sprains (injuries to ligaments) or other problems. This can happen at work when sitting in front of the computer, during long drives, when reading in bed, or even talking on the phone. Sleeping in an awkward position is another common cause.
Injuries, trauma and motor vehicle accidents: This is a major cause of acute neck pain and whiplash. Common injuries include falls, sports-related injuries, direct trauma, and auto accidents.
Medical Conditions: Conditions such as arthritis can cause chronic pain and stiffness. Herniated discs in the neck can also cause pain, as can illnesses like the flu. Jaw injuries or related conditions may also cause neck pain.
Stress: Being stressed or anxious can cause tension in the muscle of your neck, shoulders and back.
How acupuncture can help: Recent studies have shown that “acupuncture can be a safe form of treatment for patients with chronic pain if the objective is to obtain relief from pain related to movement and to improve cervical mobility. As neck pain may be a chronic condition with considerable socio-economic impact. Single forms of treatment may be inadequate, and acupuncture merits consideration.” Other studies suggest that acupuncture can treat degenerative disorders of the neck and spine.
Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. In TCM, Qi (“chee”) is the vital energy that animate the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians to nourish the body’s organs, muscles and cells. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms such as pain may result.
Acupuncture is safe, natural and has no side effects– unlike many of the medication often used to treat pain.
Dr. Kiefer, D.C., Dipl.Acu (ASA) will take a detailed health history and perform a physical exam to find out where and why your body’s vital energies have become blocked and out of balance. She will work to not only relieve your pain, but to identify and treat the underlying causes.