Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 06, 2013

Shoulder pain affects millions of people and has common cause of visit to the primary physician. If severe it can cause substantially effect on the daily activities of a person.


What causes shoulder pain and how can acupuncture help?


There are several cause of shoulder pain---it can be caused by injury, slipped shoulder joint, injury or disease of the ligaments of the shoulder joint, or periarthritis. In many people the shoulder pain can sometimes go away on its own but may last up to 12 to 18 months. Some of the commonly used treatments for shoulder disorders include physiotherapy, analgesics like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticosteroid injections or oral glucocorticosteroids, surgery and acupuncture.


Many people opt for acupuncture to relieve chronic shoulder pain as it is a non-drug therapy and lacks the side effects associated with prescription medications and surgery.


According to acupuncture theories--- an illness is caused by a disruption of Qi, or the flow of energy in the body. This leads to an imbalance of energy. Acupuncture by stimulation of the energy that flows along the meridians, or energy-carrying channels can correct this energy disruption and help the body to heal. In addition acupuncture stimulates release of chemicals that decrease or eliminate painful sensations.


Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat several forms of chronic pain. It is a widely accepted form of alternative treatment and is being increasingly accepted, by both clinicians and consumers of health care for treating shoulder pain and other chronic pain.

Does Acupuncture relieve shoulder pain?


Acupuncture is being used increasingly to treat shoulder pain but few studies have investigated the efficacy of this intervention. The exact benefits of acupuncture on shoulder pain are not known. According to some studies on acupuncture in shoulder pain the improvements with acupuncture for pain and function were not significant.


The bottom line


Acupuncture is a low-risk, safe and effective procedure when performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner. Acupuncture has been shown to be of help in people with chronic pain. As it lacks the side effects of prescription medicine many people with chronic and severe shoulder pain opt for it. However the evidence on effectiveness of acupuncture on shoulder pain is not conclusive to recommend it as a treatment measure for shoulder pain.



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