Seattle Acupuncture &  Pain Management 

916 E Miller St    Seattle, WA 98102     Phone: (206) 459-3704  

Conditions Treated » Neck Pain

Acupuncture can relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain

 

A few of the most common culprits causing neck and shoulder pain include:


Bad posture: Bending or hunching forward for prolonged periods can cause strains (overstretched muscles) or sprains (injuries to ligaments) or other problems.This can happen at work when sitting with your head in an improper position infront of the computer, using your shoulder to move a mouse at a computer, bad posture during long drives, when reading in bed, or even talking on the phone. 


Sleeping in an awkward position is another common cause of neck and shoulder pain.


Injuries, trauma and motor vehicle, falls, sports-related injuries, direct trauma are  major causes of acute neck pain. 


Medical conditions such as arthritis can cause chronic pain and stiffness. 


Herniated disks in the neck can also cause pain, as can illnesses like the flu. 


Jaw injuries or related conditions may also cause neck pain.

Stress: Being constantly stressed out or anxious can cause tension in the muscles of your neck, shoulders, and back creating continuous pain.


How acupuncture can help?

Recent studies have shown that "acupuncture can be a safe form of treatment for patients with chronic neck pain if the objective is to obtain relief from pain related to movement and to improve cervical mobility." Other studies suggest that acupuncture can treat degenerative disorders of the neck and spine restoring the damaged tissues.

 

How can acupuncture help treat your neck and shoulder pain and stiffness?


As explained earlier, most neck and shoulder stiffness results from two factors: continuous mechanical strain and emotional stress. The treatment approach, then, must consider both aspects. In today’s stressful society, since most people have chronic parasympathetic inhibition and excess sympathetic activation (typical symptoms include: irritability, insomnia, cold hands, feet, digestive problems,and palpitations). Your acupuncturist will begin by balancing the nervous system.

Stimulation applied to the neck and shoulder muscles to further release muscle tightness. Low-frequency electric acupuncture treatment may also be utilized for certaincases. Tuina massage is used to relax the muscle tissue and sometimes Trigger point therapy is used to release the neuro-muscular junctions.
Indirect Moxa (heat therapy) treatment may also applied to certain acupuncture points to increase local tissue circulation and to induce an additional relaxation response.
Other neck and shoulder pain comes from recent trauma such as a car accident, sports injury or working accident.
Acupuncture has been a safe and effective therapy for thousands of years treating both Chronicand Acute neck and shoulder pain.

Current Theories on How Acupuncture Affects the 

Nervous System

Over that last fewdecades acupuncture has been scrutinized by many because there has been nospecific scientific proof to explain how acupuncture works.  Many theories have been suggested but the generally accepted explanation is that opioid peptides are released in the body during an acupuncture session.
 
Opioid peptides are comprised of endorphins, enkephallins, and dynorphins, which are all types of neurotransmitters, and are found in neurons throughout the body. Opioid peptides are thought to be closely involved with the perception of pain in the central nervous system. This hypothesis describes that pain is felt when the nervous system gets trapped in a kind of negative feedback loop. This can occur when the brain’s ability to receive and register the pain signal is blocked preventing it from releasing the much needed endorphins or if the pain is originating from a different source other than where the body actually perceives the pain. In the later case, the root cause (originating area) of the pain remains damaged and continues to release pain signals even after the body has presumably released endorphins to the one area, but not the originating source.
 
Acupuncture needles trigger the release of opioids in the nervous system by drawing attention to the problem area, either directly or indirectly. After the afflicted area can move and operate freely without the hindrance of pain and the pattern in the nervous system that was creating the pain is finally broken, often the area will be able to begin to heal naturally.
 
Another theory forhow acupuncture affects the nervous system called "the gate theory"proposed by R. Melzack and P.D. It explains that neuronal impulses transmittedthrough the nervous system between neurons which the brain is able to interpretand perceive as pain impulses.  However,if the neurons in a damaged area produce too many pain signals at once, it closes down, or closes its gates. This closing of  gates blocks further signal impulses from reaching the brain. Equated similar to playing pinball except the ball never makes it back to the starting pin.

Stimulation by acupuncture needles interrupts the continuous signals within the neuron(s)generating the constant pain signals.



Call SeattleAcupuncture and Pain Management today at (206) 459-3704 to schedule an appointment. Let us help you start living your life pain free.


SAPM accepts most insurance plans and we have free front door parking.