ACUPUNCTURE FOR NECK PAIN
Acupuncture for neck pain has been used for over two thousand years. It’s a gentle method, without ‘cracking’ or harrowing physical manipulation. It’s good news given that most of us will, at some point, experience neck pain. It’s one of the things that happen when you’re the only animal that walks solely on its hind legs. Granted, neck pain is a small price to pay for the privilege of being upright, but that doesn’t help much when you’re in so much pain that you can’t sleep, and are forced to take pain killers.
Neck pain can be the result of a wide range of factors. Ninety-five percent of the time it’s not structural, but a consequence of inflammation from any number of factors.Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Poor Posture: Bending or hunching forward for prolonged periods can cause strains and sprains (injuries to ligaments). This might happen in front of a computer, while sitting for extended periods in a car or train, or even while talking on the phone. Another cause of neck pain can be sleeping in an awkward position.
- Injuries, trauma and car accidents: Sports related injuries, common falls, auto accidents can all cause acute neck pain.
- Stress: Being stressed or anxious can cause the muscles in your back, shoulder and neck to freeze up; sometimes the pain is felt in all three areas, while at other times the pain is localized in a ‘target zone’. When the body is in emotional fight-or-flight mode, muscles lock up and don’t readily ‘unlock’.
- Medical Conditions: Arthritis, herniated disks, TMJ and other related conditions may cause chronic pain and stiffness.
There Is Help:
Acupuncture uses the body’s own electrical system to repair itself. The pins act as a jump-starting mechanism, bringing blood and oxygen to the neck area and endorphin (the body’s own ‘feel good’ chemical) to the brain . It also opens the veins, sending toxins such as lactic acid buildup away from the area to be eliminated.
Typically I do a complete examination of the area, noting which muscles are ‘in play’ and if there are in fact compromised vertebrae. Usually the issue is one of inflammation; by releasing local muscles we bring down the inflammation of the neck, eliminating the immediate source of pain. This does not, however, mean your boss will instantly disappear from your life, or that your chair will suddenly become ergonomic. Lifestyle changes and/or stress reduction techniques may need to be implemented. Acupuncture is excellent for reducing anxiety levels over time. For those available for it, we also teach simple breathing exercises, as well as self-hypnosis techniques, to release the stress before it can build up.
If you are experiencing neck pain, contact us at (212) 777 7191 or email us at [email protected]