Acupuncture has been practised for thousands of years and an increasing number of people are finding that this long-established therapy can offer an effective solution to their problems. The acupuncture service at Spire Little Aston Hospital in Sutton Coldfield for patients in Birmingham and the West Midlands area is led by specialist physiotherapists who treats a variety of conditions including back and neck pain, sports injuries, headaches and osteoarthritis.
Our specialist acupuncturists treat patients from Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham and the West Midlands
The acupuncture service includes an assessment, diagnosis and treatment in private rooms with a specialist physiotherapist. Treatment is available to all patients in Birmingham and the West Midlands, whether you are insured or paying for the treatment yourself. No GP referral is required if you are paying for your own treatment.
How acupuncture works
Acupuncture works by stimulating the brain and spinal cord to produce natural chemicals in the body. These chemicals include endorphins to relieve pain, melatonin to encourage sleep and serotonin to enhance feelings of well being, therefore assisting the body's natural healing process. Quality research supports the effectiveness of acupuncture, particularly in the management of pain and it's effectiveness in the treatment of low back pain, neck pain, headaches and knee osteoarthritis.
When is acupuncture appropriate?
Acupuncture may be suggested when your Specialist Physiotherapist at Spire Little Aston believes it may be the most effective treatment for your condition, or that it might help to improve the effectiveness of your overall treatment. Therefore, acupuncture may be used as a stand alone treatment, or it may be offered in conjunction with other physiotherapy treatments to help achieve the best result for you as an individual.
Conditions which acupuncture may be used to treat
- Back Pain (acute or chronic) including sciatica
- Whiplash, neck and shoulder pain
- Sports injuries
- Soft tissue injuries including tennis elbow, achilles tendon, frozen shoulder and plantar fasciitis
- Headaches including Migraine
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Does acupuncture work?
Research shows that 70% of people receiving acupuncture gain relief from pain and quite frequently good results are obtained with conditions that have not responded to traditional western medicine. The rate of improvement varies from person to person and can depend on a number of factors including:
- The condition being treated, the severity and duration of the problem
- The individual and their general health
What does acupuncture treatment involve?
Your specialist physiotherapist at Spire Little Aston Hospital will use sterile, single use needles. The needles are fine (a lot finer than an injection needle). They are tapped gently through the skin and into the underlying tissue. Acupuncture needling is not usually painful, however some people report a pinprick or scratch like sensation.
Once the needles are in place you may feel a mild ache, numbness, warm or heavy sensation in the area and around the needle. This is a sign that the body's inbuilt pain relieving mechanisms are being stimulated. During treatment your physiotherapist may gently stimulate the needles. Patients may experience a pleasant, relaxed feeling, and on occasion may also feel drowsy during treatment.
Normally between 2 - 16 needles are used, which can be left in position for as little as 1 - 2 minutes. More commonly needles will be in place for 10 - 30 minutes.
How many treatments are required?
The number of acupuncture treatments will vary depending on the condition being treated and how the individual responds. For accute conditions positive results are often achieved in 4 - 6 treatments however research suggests that longstanding conditions may require more treatments to achieve the best results. Each treatment is tailored to suit the individual and their condition. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, with pain relief building up as treatment progresses.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is very safe and serious complications are rare (1 per 10,000 treatments) All Specialist Physiotherapists providing acupuncture at Spire Little Aston Hospital are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP). This means that they are bound by professional codes of conduct.