Chronic neck and shoulder pain is a very common problem today. The pain may develop from computer overuse, poor posture, stress, accidents, and injuries. Acupuncture will deeply relax the muscles and trigger points in the neck and shoulder which stimulates healing.
We have significant experience and success with treating neck and shoulder pain. Our approach involves assessing the imbalances within the muscles, connective tissues, and acupuncture channels to specifically target the pain of each individual. Because the neck and shoulders are thoroughly integrated, neck pain often comes from trigger points on your shoulders—this is why we treat them together.
Causes of Neck and Shoulder Pain
The muscles do not have enough substance and energy to support them; as a result they tense up. Stagnation may develop from an injury, wear and tear, or, as is most common, chronic stress. This is why it is easy to develop pain during periods of high stress.
Tightness within one muscle of the shoulder and neck will pull on other muscles creating a complex web of tightness and pain. Acupuncture will help relax the muscle, increase circulation, and release these areas of pain.
Acupuncture Treatment for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Our treatment for neck and shoulder pain may include acupuncture with electric stimulation, tui na (Chinese medical massage), and cupping. The acupuncture points and manual therapies are tailored to each patient and will depend on the root cause, location and quality of the pain, and the state of health of the patient.
If the imbalance is stagnation without weakness, then we choose more acupuncture points at the location of pain. These patients will often have more active trigger points, or areas of tenderness and stress in the muscle.
We will also select acupuncture points along the affected acupuncture channel that are farther away from the pain. This technique increases circulation in the acupuncture channel, which will reduce pain and speed healing.
When the root cause of the shoulder pain is an underlying weakness, then less acupuncture points on the neck and shoulder will be used. These acupuncture points should focus on increasing the amount of energy in the body.
Tui Na for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Tui Na, or Chinese medical massage, is essential for the treatment of shoulder pain. One of the most powerful techniques in Tui Na is the rolling technique. This technique uses the back of the hand to roll over the muscles. Rolling technique is both soft and strong, allowing it to get deep into the muscle and help with relaxation.
If you push too hard on a muscle, the muscle will rebel. Instead of relaxing, it can become tighter. The rolling technique, because it is smooth, allows the use of strength while avoiding resistance within the muscle.
Treating the Whole Person
Acupuncture will address the whole person. The body is interconnected; tension from one area can create problems in other muscles. Often, trying to target and treat only the location of the pain does not relieve the tension in the surrounding muscle groups. This is particularly true when treating pain in the neck and shoulders.
Acupuncture helps to relax the body and the mind. Stress and pressure have a profound effect on neck pain development causing muscles to become tense. The muscle tension then causes stress, creating a cycle. The acupuncture can help to break this cycle.