Acupuncture and neck pain

February 28, 2012

Acupuncture, Health, Pain

Participants who received acupuncture in these trials reported only minor, transient and benign adverse effects, indicating that acupuncture offers a safe treatment for neck pain.

by Don Matesz — 

Has life given you a chronic pain in the neck? If so, consider acupuncture for relief.

Can you really get relief from neck pain by getting stuck with needles? According to a study published in the prestigious Cochrane Reviews (July 19, 2006), you may indeed be able to.

The authors looked at 10 trials that included 661 participants who had neck pain for at least three months. The studies compared genuine acupuncture treatments to sham acupuncture treatments, other sham treatments (sham laser, sham TENS), other treatments (mobilization, massage, traction) and to those participants on a waiting list.

Participants who received acupuncture in these trials reported only minor, transient and benign adverse effects, indicating that acupuncture offers a safe treatment for neck pain.

What about effectiveness? The chronic neck-pain sufferers who received acupuncture reported that, on average, they got more pain relief both immediately and in the short term, compared to those who received sham treatments.

Participants who had chronic neck pain with symptoms radiating to the arms also reported, on average, more pain relief in the short term than those who remained on a waiting list or those who received sham treatments.

At a short-term follow-up, the investigators found moderate evidence that acupuncture may provide more relief than massage therapy as well.

So if you have a pain in the neck, consider acupuncture. It might give you the relief you seek.

 

Don Matesz, M.S., L.Ac., operates Barefoot Acupuncture Clinic in Phoenix and is devoted to providing affordable acupuncture, nutrition guidance and natural health care services. 602-954-8016 or www.barefootacupuncture.vpweb.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  3, Jun/July 2009.

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