Neck pain is a serious condition that can harm the body and cause problems and impediments to daily living. The causes and sources of this condition can vary but the end results are the same: a dull to aching discomfort that makes movement of the neck to be a source of irritation. Though the causes may be different, there are remedies that can work across conditions. From medications to surgeries, these can be great in making a painful condition more bearable or alleviating discomfort all together. One of the less conventional remedies, but potentially as beneficial, is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a unique approach to pain management and relief for neck discomfort, the explanation of which is provided below.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an eastern form of medicine or treatment that originated in China. Acupuncture relies on stimulation of designated points in the body as a means of releasing tension and relieving pain. The most common way that this is accomplished is using small needles which are strategically inserted into the skin as a means of increasing the flow of energy through the body and stimulating a restored balance. This restored balance is said to help ease pain and create a more comfortable and well-aligned body.
How Does Acupuncture Work and Is It Useful?
The use of acupuncture for neck pain is increasing. Many patients find that, when all other methods of treatment have been exhausted, this is a way to alleviate the discomfort of the region in a controlled and relaxed setting. Of course, it need not be applied when all other options are exhausted but can work at any time the patient is prepared and is able. The process is relatively the same no matter when and who it is applied to. Acupuncture for neck problems is completed when needles are placed into the skin at certain strategic points of the body, specifically around the shoulders and in the neck itself. The goal of these insertions is to create an increased energy flow through the body and an overall balance, like that described above, that allow the body to relax and the neck pain to be alleviated. Manual manipulations may also be a part of the treatment in which massage is applied in conjunction with or absent of the needles. Studies into whether or not acupuncture works for neck discomfort relief are not all conclusive. The large majority, however, show that this procedure is growing in use and its effectiveness is continually being witnessed.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture, like any medicines or therapeutic approaches, has risks that can potentially make it unsafe. Most of these concerns, however, can be alleviated with knowledge and discussion with an acupuncturist or doctor doing the procedures. Most importantly, it is important to understand assess whether all tools used for the acupuncture process are sterile. Unsterile tools are the top reason that problems occur with acupuncture. Because needles are inserted into the skin, there is the chance that irritation, bruising, or reddening of the skin can result. These are usually rare problems, however, those with sensitive skin can be privy to this problem. Finally, a safety concern is in the depth of the needle insertion. Usually this is another concern that never presents, but it has been reported with some unqualified professionals that organ puncture did result. This is rare and overall, the risks are extremely small when compared to other types of neck pain relief.
When Can You Do It?
Acupuncture for neck pain should only be done when a licensed acupuncturist or qualified health professional is applying the pressures, manipulations, or needle insertion. First, this will help to ensure that the patient remains safe and protected during the process. It also protects the individual from infection or increased injury as a result of a misplaced application of a needle. Acupuncture should only be completed when an acupuncture patient is aware of all of the risks and considerations that need to be understood before the process is completed. An understanding of the procedures and approach beforehand can help to relax the mind and body so that the best benefits are achieved.