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Thursday, 17/12/2015

Acupuncture Effectiveness for Neck Pain

Neck pain is one of the three most frequently reported complaints of the musculoskeletal system. 26% to 71% of the adult population can recall experiencing an episode of neck pain or stiffness in their lifetime. Neck pain is usually a benign and self-limited condition, but can be disabling to varying degrees. As such, it has a large impact on healthcare expenditure, due to visits to healthcare professionals, and sick leave, disability and the related loss of productivity.(Trinh 2010)

Neck pain can be associated with symptoms that radiate to the arms or head, and may involve one or several neurovascular and musculoskeletal structures such as
nerves, nerve roots, intervertebral joints, discs, bones, muscle and ligaments.

Studies and trials have been done showing very positive results that acupuncture can help relieve neck pain. One of the trials on 14.161 patients shows 40% improvement in terms of acupuncture plus routine care being better than routine care alone (Witt 2006; Chan 2009). In another trial with 180 patients showed that acupuncture plus massage produced up to 20% increased effectiveness for cervical spondylosis patients compared to either therapy
alone (Zhou 2005).

According to international cost-effectiveness threshold values, acupuncture is a cost-effective treatment strategy in patients with chronic neck pain.(Willich

The Chinese Medicine Theory consider and neck pain as an imbalance inside of the body in certain meridian channels occuring due to blockage, insufficient, or irregular movement of Qi energy and blood. The needles puncture certain points open up the channels balance the Qi and regulate its flow thus correcting the imbalances such as energy utilization, absorption, and
energy production activities.


Stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, as well as changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008);

Reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003);

Improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling

Taken from : British Acupuncture Council website