Spire Portsmouth Hospital offers acupuncture services led by specialist physiotherapists for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. Conditions which may be successfully treated with acupuncture include back pain, sports injuries, headaches and migraine.

Spire's service includes:

  • a consultation with a specialist physiotherapist
  • rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment
  • expert personalised care
  • no waiting lists
  • no GP referral required
  • treatment for all, insured or not

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 its effectiveness in the treatment of low back pain, neck pain, headaches, and migraines.

When is treatment with acupuncture appropriate?

Acupuncture may be suggested when your specialist physiotherapist 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.

What conditions is acupuncture used to treat?

  • back pain (acute or chronic)
  • whiplash
  • sports injuries
  • soft tissue injuries
  • headaches, including migraine
  • osteoarthritis

Does acupuncture work?

Yes, acupuncture can work. Success generally depends on a number of factors, which include:

  • a person's general health
  • the condition, the severity and the duration of the condition
  • the individual

What does acupuncture treatment involve?

Your specialist physiotherapist 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 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.

How many needles will be used?

Normally between 2-16 needles are used, and these 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?

Research suggests that for a longstanding condition such as low back pain, a course of six to ten treatments is required to achieve the best results. The number of acupuncture treatments will vary depending on the condition being treated and how the individual responds. Each treatment will be tailored to suit the individual and their condition.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe and serious complications are rare. All specialist physiotherapists providing acupuncture at Spire Portsmouth Hospital are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP). This means that they are bound by professional codes of conduct.

The Acupuncture Clinic is open to all, for further information please contact our customer service advisors on 02392 456050 or complete the enquiry form on the right-hand side of this page.

All physiotherapists at Spire Portsmouth Hospital are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). Find out more about our Spire Physiotherapy team.

The physiotherapy team at Spire Portsmouth Hospital

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