Release neck pain with acupuncture, supported by research evidence.
Neck pain is a common condition. Neck pain has a wide differential diagnosis, but most cases seen are musculoskeletal in nature. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture. It is strongly linked to office and computer work. Most of the cases are muscular. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain. The symptoms of neck pain include pain at the neck that is worse when you hold the head in one position for long periods of time. It is accompanied with muscle tightness and spasms, and reduced mobility of the head and neck. If the pain spread out up to the head and down to the arm, it can be associated with headaches and arm and forearm pain.
Neck pain can be classified into acute or chronic pain. Acute neck pain is pain that last for weeks to months, but the pain goes after this short period of time. Chronic neck pain is pain that last longer than 3 - 6 months. About 50% - 85% of patients with acute neck pain will go on to develop chronic neck pain. The causes of neck pain include muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, injuries and diseases such as arthritis etc.
Much research has shown that acupuncture has both immediate and long-lasting effect on neck pain. For example, a large sample size German study with more than 14,000 participants evaluated adding acupuncture to usual care for neck pain. They found that participants reported greater pain relief than those who didn’t receive it.
A recent research paper studied the research trends on acupuncture for neck pain treatment. Publications related to acupuncture for neck pain treatment from 2000 to 2020.
They Analysed 325 articles and the result has shown that the total number of publications has steadily increased over the last 20 years indicating that acupuncture is becoming more popular among researchers, clinicians, and patients. The top five countries researching on this topic is the US, China, England, the Republic of Korea, and Germany.
Amnon A. Berger et al reviewed neck pain background, acupuncture and the evidence that exist to support acupuncture use in chronic neck pain. They found that clinical trials studying acupuncture for neck pain have shown significant reduction in both pain and associated symptoms. Acupuncture is effective in alleviating pain both immediately after treatment, as well as provide long-lasting relief. These treatments are generally safe and inexpensive and should be considered as part of a multimodal approach for the treatment of neck pain.
Amnon A. Berger et al Anesth Pain Med. 2021 Apr; 11(2): e113627.
Neck pain is not only affecting your neck, but also affecting your brain.
Pain related brain functional connectivity is altered in neck pain patients. Research shows that after acupuncture treatment, significant improvement in neck functional ability and reduced neck pain and acupuncture treatment reduced the intensity and frequency of muscle pain, and the degree of headaches related to neck pain. After acupuncture treatment, brain functional connectivity was improved significantly compared to that before treatment.