Pain management

Pain Management

What Is Pain and How Acupuncture Helps

neckpainPain can be experienced as sharp, dull, intermittent, steady, localised or a general all over body ache depending on which pathway is activated (fast or slow), which then enables us to recognise illness or injury. Once the pain receptors have been activated by a stimulus they send a message via electrical impulses to the brain which interprets these messages as pain.

Acupuncture is able to help relieve pain as it has an effect on the endogenous opiod system (pain-relieving system) thus acting as an analgesic. Through the use of Neural Imaging, studies have conclusively shown that acupuncture is successful in offering pain relieve for common ailments such as chronic neck and lumbar pain, migraines, knee osteoarthritis, dental pain, nausea and vomiting.


Pain and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture can treat a variety of pain, however muscle pain is more common. This type of pain generally involves groups of muscles as well as ligaments, tendons, fascia, bones and organs and are damaged either throughout our daily activities which puts wear and tear on the muscles or through trauma (accident, sprain, fractures, dislocations, falls), poor posture, repetitive movements, overuse or excessive immobilisation.

Acupuncture can relieve the pain you experience and restore the natural flow of qi through the meridians of the body. When the qi is either insufficient, unbalanced, or blocked illness can occur. Individualised treatment programs, based on each person’s diagnosis, enable specific acupuncture points (with specific functions) to be used to correct the imbalance and relieve pain.

Some commonly treated conditions include:

  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • TMJ
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Numbness and Tingling
  • Paresthesia
  • Neuropathy


  • Sun et al completed a study on 34 participants who suffered from Chronic Neck Myofascial Pain Syndrome. These participants were randomised into either the acupuncture or sham acupuncture group and received a total of 6 treatments over a 3 week period. It was found that the acupuncture group showed a greater improvement in physical functioning and emotional health in the quality of life questionnaire completed. Thus they concluded that Acupuncture may be used to improve quality of life in patients with chronic neck myofascial pain syndrome.
  • Ekdahl et al (2009) completed a study of 40 pregnant women suffering from low back and pelvic pain. The women were separated into two groups and received acupuncture treatment either from week 20 (group 1) or week 26 (group 2) for a total of 8 sessions. The results showed that both groups of women experienced pain relief at the end of the 8 sessions, both pain intensity and pain experience score showed a reduction, more in group 2 than in group 1. Using the results of the Short Form -36 Questionnaire it was indicated that both groups received a great improvement in pain which therefore affected the results of the other quality-of-life dimensions in the questionnaire, particularly within group 2 who showed significant improvement in general health, VT and social function. Thus it was concluded that it may be advantageous to begin acupuncture therapy later in pregnancy to maximise pain relief.
  • H.Y. Chiu PhD, RN, Y.J. Hsieh MSN, R and P.S. Tsai PhD (2016), Systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture to reduce cancer-related pain. European Journal of Cancer Care, Volume 26, Issue 2, March 2017, e12457.


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