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Acupuncture Alleviates Neck & Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain are one of the most common complaints I see in my practice. Between the increased use of electronic devices, stress, and sedentary jobs, it is no wonder! Chronic neck and shoulder tension is also a common cause of headaches and migraines. The pain can be annoying, exhausting and for some, debilitating.

Common causes of neck & shoulder pain:

  • bad posture

  • excessive computer use and/or texting

  • poor sleeping position

  • carrying a heavy purse or bag

  • sitting under an AC vent or fan

  • stress

  • osteoarthritis

  • cervical disc problems

  • car accident/whiplash

  • muscle strain

  • frozen shoulder

Conventional treatment of neck and shoulder pain consists of taking anti-inflammatory medications and using ice packs. There are big reasons why I choose to avoid both, however. Ibuprofen may help to stop the pain and decrease inflammation, but it doesn't address the actual problem and the effects are only temporary. Ice causes constriction and restricts blood flow to areas that are already tight and restricted, plus it slows down the healing time and can actually make the problem worse in the long run. Thankfully, there is a natural solution for that nagging pain in your upper body - acupuncture!

Acupuncture helps to alleviate both acute and chronic neck and shoulder pain by improving blood flow to relax the muscles and fascia. Acupuncture also works by stopping the pain signal and releasing endorphins and enkephalins, your body's natural painkillers. During an acupuncture session, we identify which muscles are affected and use points that directly influence those areas. Pain relief can often be felt immediately. Acupuncture also helps to improve the range of motion of the neck and shoulders, especially in cases of frozen shoulder where movement can be very restricted. For acute neck/shoulder pain, only a few treatments may be needed; for chronic pain, a series of 12-20 sessions may be recommended.

Tips for neck and shoulder pain:

  • Get regular acupuncture to manage pain & stress

  • Get regular massages to loosen tight muscles

  • Use a heating pad instead of ice

  • Take epsom salt baths to relax muscles

  • Maintain good posture

  • Adjust your computer monitor to avoid neck strain

  • Get a comfortable and supportive desk chair to prevent leaning forward

  • Avoid looking down at your phone for extended periods of time

  • Keep your purse light by taking out unneccessary items

  • Avoid carrying heavy or bulky bags on one side

  • Get a supportive pillow designed for the way you sleep

If neck and shoulder pain has been plaguing you, it might be time to let acupuncture be your solution!

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