Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

by Sharon Hopkins


Acupuncture for neck and shoulder pain helps to relive pain, tension and stiffness. It is a common method of therapy and there are many who have benefited from it. Discomfort in the neck and shoulder region can occur due to a variety of factors. Most people experience this problem due to sitting in front of a computer for long hours. This can restrict the circulation in the tissues of the neck and shoulder and may also lead to muscle fatigue. Other causes of shoulder pain include overuse or deterioration of the joint due to the process of ageing. Those engaged in sports or work activities which involve continuous movement of the shoulder may also be prone to pain in the region. Arthritis, a condition which results in inflammation of the joints, can also affect the shoulder joint. Other common problems of the shoulder include bursitis, impingement, rotator cuff tearing and neck strain and injuries which extend to the shoulders. Mentioned below is some additional information on acupuncture and shoulder pain.

Neck and shoulder problems can be effectively treated through the practice of acupuncture. There is a pressure or acupuncture point located beneath the hairline on the neck which is known to be connected with the eye. Therefore those who undergo eye strain due to staring at a computer screen or watching television may also experience stiffness around that pressure point. The area can also become tense during intense mental concentration. This can give rise to symptoms such as headache, irritability and insomnia. Stimulation of this pressure point through acupuncture helps to relieve pain and discomfort. Acupuncture may also be done on the muscles that lie between the shoulder and neck. It is believed that the tension in this group of large muscles may be reflective of an individual's emotional state. The area between the shoulder blades may also undergo tension during periods of anxiety.

Since most cases of strain and tension in the neck and shoulders arise from continuous physical strain and emotional pressure, the correct treatment method involves tackling both aspects. Acupuncture is a form of therapy that could be used effectively to achieve this purpose. It is low-risk and beneficial when done by a qualified professional. Acupuncture is especially known to be effective in case of chronic pain. Some studies have also shown that acupuncture for frozen shoulder is helpful. Frozen shoulder occurs when the muscles and tendons of the shoulder become stiff due to lack of movement.

Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Besides acupuncture, there are several other methods of treating shoulder pain. One of the most important steps in treatment is rest. In order to reduce the inflammation and pain, the treatment for bursitis of the shoulder must include adequate rest. This means that the individual should avoid engaging in any activity or movement which causes pain in the shoulder. Impingement syndrome is a condition in which there is irritation and swelling of the shoulder tendons. Treatment for shoulder impingement may involve alternating ice and heat compresses. Ice helps to bring down the pain and restricts inflammation, while heat helps to stimulate proper blood flow and also increases flexibility of the muscles and tissues.

Shoulder muscle pain treatment could also be carried out with using drug therapy. Anti-inflammatory medications help to reduce inflammation and thus alleviate pain and discomfort. Such medications are usually used to treat tendonitis or bursitis of the shoulder. Muscle pain may also be relieved through the application of pain relieving ointments or sprays. In cases where the symptoms are severe, cortisone injections may be administered. These are administered directly into the affected area and help to bring about quicker relief. Another important part of shoulder pain therapy is exercise. Simple exercises are recommended as part of physical therapy for shoulder problems. These exercises help to rebuild strength in the rotator cuff and enable smoother mobility of the shoulder joint. A physical therapist may also recommend certain stretching exercises which can improve the flexibility of the shoulder tissues. It is important to prevent overuse or overexertion of the affected shoulder as it may aggravate the condition. Activities such as overhead lifting and throwing should be avoided as they can irritate the tendons further.

Individuals with bursitis of the shoulder usually respond well to non-surgical treatments. However impingement may necessitate surgery in some cases. The surgery can be done in two ways, the arthroscopic technique or the open technique. In the arthroscopic technique, 2 to 3 incisions are made in the area and a scope is inserted. The scope is connected to a camera and this enables the surgeon to perform the procedure. In the open technique, a cut is made in the frontal area of the shoulder and the acromion, the bony part at the top of the shoulder blade, is removed along with some bursal tissue. Recovery from surgery may take up to 4 to 5 months. You should speak to your doctor on precautions to be taken during the recovery period.


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