Many people can relate to the neck strain caused by poor sitting positions at work or inappropriate sleeping positions, or even trauma. Neck stress and pain can prevent you from effectively carrying out your daily activities. Some of the most common causes of neck stress include muscle tension, back strain, and worn-out cartilages.
While you can use painkillers to relieve neck stress, the solution is temporary. If you are looking to explore a safe and long-lasting solution for neck pain or stress, it would be wise to try out acupuncture. Acupuncture is an efficient treatment procedure that uses needles applied at different pressure points in the body to relieve tension and stress. Even though acupuncture is exceptionally safe, it is vital to ensure that you seek the services of a skilled acupuncturist to avoid potential side effects.
Overview of Neck Stress
Neck stress is the tension and pain that develops when the neck muscles cannot relax. Stress on your neck can result in soreness of your neck and pain. Some of the reasons why you could be experiencing neck stress include:
- Repetitive motion. Individuals who work in professions that require repetitive movements are likely to strain the neck muscles.
- Spending a lot of time on the computer. When you spend an entire day hunching over your computer, you could experience severe neck strain. Since bending down is not natural, your back and neck muscles could suffer.
- Teeth clenching and grinding. When you grind or clench your teeth, you exert unnecessary pressure on your jaws and neck. The pressure from this habit strains the neck muscles resulting in pain and restrained movement.
- Poor sleeping positions. When you lay down to sleep, your head should be aligned with the rest of the body. Sleeping with the firm or large pillows could elevate your neck and cause a tension build-up while you sleep.
- Psychological stress. Stress has a significant impact on all parts of your body. When you experience stress, your muscles can be tensed up.
- Heavy Loads, Carrying heavy loads, especially bags that have straps going over your shoulders, could strain the muscles on the side of your neck, causing severe pain.
- Trauma. When you are involved in a car accident or a slip and fall accident, you could suffer a whiplash injury that consists of a strain of the neck muscles.
- Vigorous exercise. Exercise has many health benefits, including relief from neck pain. However, vigorous exercise that involves whipping your head could cause injury to these muscles.
Stiffness and strain in the neck can arise from trauma or disease in the neck and are characterized by:
- Severe headache. When the neck muscles are tensed, you could experience a chronic headache.
- Neck pain. There are veins, arteries, lymph nodes, and muscles within the neck structure. A disorder or injury in these parts could result in severe pain.
- Difficulty moving your neck. When your neck muscles are strained, you may find it difficult to turn your head in a particular direction.
- Muscle spasms. Muscle spasms in the neck occur when your neck suddenly becomes stiff, affecting the ability to move your head. In most cases, neck spasms are accompanied by muscle tightness and pain, which varies from achy to sharp.
- Muscle stiffness. When your neck is strained from an accident or repetitive motion, you could experience stiffness which could go away after massage and still recur.
Treatment of Neck Stress with Acupuncture
Doctors and physicians can recommend different methods to address neck stress. However, not all of these treatments provide a similar efficiency level in relieving the symptoms associated with neck stress. Most methods like massage and pain medications offer temporary relief. If you seek long-term relief for your neck pain, you need to try acupuncture. Acupuncture is an element of Ancient Chinese Medicine and treats various degenerative disorders. This type of treatment uses different acupoints selected depending on each client’s condition.
Since acupuncture techniques aim for pain relief, the treatment is very efficient for individuals who experience chronic neck stiffness and pain. In addition to reducing pain and stress levels, acupuncture helps improve the overall neck function. Unlike modern medications that aim to reduce pain, acupuncture aims to treat the root cause of neck stress.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, neck pain is often an indication of other serious complications like:
- Artery blockage. Blockage of the blood vessels constricts blood flow and affects sensory organs around the head. This could result in loss of balance, dizziness, and radiating pain in the neck and shoulders.
- Spinal cord injury. Neck pain or stiffness may be a result of spinal cord injury. If you have been involved in an accident where you suffered a back injury, neck pain may indicate a spinal cord injury.
- Soft tissue injuries. Poor posture or injury can weaken the cervical spine. Injury to this part of the spine can result in thickening or stiffness of the neck muscles.
While it can be challenging to determine the specific cause of neck stiffness and pain, a skilled acupuncturist can do an in-depth examination to find out the root cause, treat it and avoid recurrence. Sometimes, you may relieve that needling aimed at neck pain treatment is done in the abdominal area. This is because the assessment done by a specialist may have revealed that the problem originates from this area. In some situations, acupuncture could be combined with techniques such as electro-stimulation to help deliver more efficient results.
Electro-acupuncture For Neck pain
Electro-acupuncture is a technique that involves stimulation of the acupuncture needles with an electric current. Electro-acupuncture is a safe procedure proven to be effective and long-lasting for individuals with recurrent neck stiffness and pain. During your visit with the acupuncturist, the specialist will suggest a variety of therapies, and you will choose the one that best suits your condition.
Acupuncture Procedure for Neck Pain Treatment
Acupuncture treatment involves using thin needles inserted into specific parts of your skin. Each acupuncturist has a unique way of performing the treatment. If you want to explore acupuncture for your neck pain and stress, the practitioner will assess your health’s different aspects, including the severity of the pain and other symptoms you want to manage.
An initial evaluation with the acupuncturist takes up to one hour, and the practitioner will want to ensure that you are a good candidate for the treatment. Afterward, you will make regular visits depending on the severity or extent of your problem. During the procedure, the acupuncturist will identify different acupuncture points where the needling is to be applied. Sometimes, the pressure points will be far away from the area of stress or pain.
After explaining the general treatment plan, the practitioner will ask you to lie on a padded table where the procedure begins with the following steps:
- Needle insertion. The first stage of acupuncture treatment is the insertion of thin needles at the acupuncture points. Since the needles used for this procedure are very thin, you will not feel any pain. Often, a typical treatment takes between five to twenty needles. As the needles reach the correct depth, you may experience mild discomfort.
- Needle manipulation. When the needles are at the right depth, the practitioner may gently swirl them around or apply electric pulses.
- Needle removal. The acupuncture needles will remain on your body for up to twenty minutes while you lie down to relax for neck pain treatment. During removing these needles, you will not feel discomfort or pain.
Benefits of Using Acupuncture for Neck Stress
We all deal with neck pain and soreness from time to time. Whether you strained your neck from spending too much time on your computer or perhaps you have suffered whiplash injuries, you could be experiencing discomfort and pain. Many treatment options for neck strain like painkillers and massage are temporary, and the pain tends to recur.
If you feel frustrated because all other neck pains and strain treatments have not worked, you should consider booking an appointment with an acupuncturist. Some of the benefits you accrue from acupuncture treatment for neck pain include:
- Relief from everyday stress and strain on your neck. Muscle stress can be very uncomfortable, and the pain and restricted movements could affect your daily activities. The needling technique used for acupuncture helps relieve pressure from your neck by promoting energy distribution throughout the body.
- Acupuncture provides relaxation of overworked and tense muscles.
- Reduced muscle pain. A strained neck often results in pain. The pain could vary from mild to severe depending on the cause and extent of the stress. Some people assume that neck pain results from trapped nerves. Acupuncture is an effective way to relieve muscle spasms. Stimulation at different acupuncture points on the neck helps provide long-lasting relief.
- Acupuncture provides faster healing of neck injuries. The needling technique used in acupuncture helps decrease electric activity at the point of injury. By generating energy flow between these points, your brain will be stimulated to release endo-morphine, which triggers the immune system for faster healing. Additionally, acupuncture helps improve blood flow. When applied at the point of injury, blood filled with oxygen and nutrients moves to this part to promote healing.
- Reduced dependency on pain medications. When you visit a doctor with neck stress or pain, they may recommend using pain medications. While pain medications help with the symptoms, they can be addictive. Dependency on pain medications could have serious side effects. Acupuncture therapy does not use medication, and the likelihood of dependency on pain medications is reduced.
- Acupuncture helps increase the range of motion that was impaired by the strain. One of the most common symptoms of neck strain is the inability to move your neck or pain when turning it in a particular direction. Acupuncture helps relax your muscles and restores motion impaired by the strain.
Acupuncture is a relatively safe procedure that has numerous benefits for treating neck pain. However, some side effects could arise when an inexperienced acupuncturist does the procedure, and they include:
- Bleeding or bruising. If you have a bleeding disorder or are on blood thinners, acupuncture could result in mild bleeding or bruising. Before you undergo acupuncture to treat your neck pain, the acupuncturist will ask about your medical condition and detail any medication you could be taking.
- Infection. If the needles used to perform the acupuncture are not sterile, a patient with a compromised immune system could contract an infection. You can avoid such inconveniences by seeking the services of an experienced acupuncturist.
- Collapsed lungs. In rare cases, a patient could suffer collapsed lungs when the needles used for acupuncture are pushed deep into the chest cavity.
- Premature labor. Stimulation from acupuncture could initiate labor pains. Therefore, it is vital to inform your acupuncturist before you begin the procedure if you are pregnant. A skilled acupuncturist understands that needling should not be done in the abdominal area when the client is pregnant.
Find an Acupuncturist Near Me
Neck stress and pain can result from repetitive motion or an accident that strains your muscles. You could experience a sore neck suddenly, especially after an accident, or gradually, as seen in stressful working conditions. The nature and extent of the neck stress varies and may be characterized by chronic neck pain, headache, muscle spasms, and pain in the shoulder blades. Neck strain, even in the less severe cases, can be very uncomfortable. While some forms of neck strain heal without treatment, sometimes you will need treatment.
Doctors often find it difficult to pinpoint the exact location of your neck stiffness and discomfort. Generally, a doctor could recommend you undergo massage therapy and give you some painkillers, which unfortunately are a temporary treatment option. For a long-lasting and efficient neck strain treatment, try acupuncture treatment.
At Trinity Acupuncture, we provide unique and efficient acupuncture treatment to meet each client’s needs. If you seek permanent relief for neck tightness and stress without the need for habit-forming drugs in Torrance, CA, you want to consider our acupuncture services. Contact us today at 310-371-1777 to receive advice on the ideal acupuncture treatment.