Dear doctor, will acupuncture help relieve my neck pain?

10 April 2019

I am struggling with pain in my neck and my GP has recommended acupuncture, will it help?

Neck pain is fairly common and can be easily aggravated with sedentary jobs or even with sudden increased activity. Sometimes, even after an injury has healed, our body can still be limited by pain. It can be extremely disabling, which can affect our mood as well as our movement.

Pain can stop us from moving in a normal way and can prevent us from using muscles as they are intended. This can lead to our symptoms getting worse or a slower recovery.

In the initial stages of recovery it is important to control your pain as best as you can, sometimes this can be done with rest alone, other times we may need to take medications. Therapies such as massage, heat, physiotherapy and even acupuncture can help to reduce your pain and enable you to move better.   

Acupuncture is an established treatment with many benefits, especially in terms of reducing pain and helping relaxation. It has been shown to help reduce muscle soreness and spasm, improve flexibility and facilitate healing as well as improving sleep. Acupuncture involves the insertion of several very fine needles along specific points of the body, which can help to stimulate the body’s own natural pain relief.

If you have tried other remedies and had little improvement it may be worthwhile seeing a physiotherapist to discuss your symptoms. It may be that acupuncture can help - especially when combined with a treatment plan tailored to suit your needs.

Ben Cairns is a Physiotherapist at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.


The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.

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