Acupuncture for neck pain , shoulder pain , cervical spondylitis, frozen shoulder and radiculopathy is used in our clinic with excellent results . Cervical spondylosis is a neck condition due to age-related wear and tear to the neck vertebrae. There can be soreness, distention, radiating pain or heaviness of the neck, shoulder, arm or head, and even numbness of the fingers. It is usually seen in patients over the age of forty. The cause is commonly due to degeneration of the discs and cervical vertebra which stimulates or oppresses the spinal cord or surrounding nerves in the neck region.
The tender tissues of spinal cord and blood vessels are mostly protected by the bone of the spinal column. As long as we are healthy everything is fine, but when we get older this bone starts to degenerate and bony protrusions can threaten the soft tissues. Spondylosis means that the actual body of the vertebra starts to wear out and the disc in between becomes flatter and dryer. This can lead to compression of the nerve or closing of the blood vessels. Symptoms of cervical spondylosis are pain and stiffness in the neck, tingling and numbness in the arms, hands, legs or feet, limited range of motion, dizziness and headache. The pain can be so severe that we can’t think clearly and it can keep us awake at night. The condition can also affect coordination, reflexes and walking.
Exercises, gentle manipulations, traction, massage and warmth applications can be helpful to this condition. Surgery is a last-case option, because of the delicacy of the surrounding tissues.
Acupuncture can be helpful too. In Chinese medicine we say the cause of this condition is due to kidney deficiency and qi (energy) and blood stagnation. The kidneys are said to control the bones and have an influence particularly on the spine. As the kidneys weaken with age, the bones get weak. In some people the bones get weaker faster than others and this is a direct cause of a kidney deficiency.
Acupuncture works by using needles to stimulate qi and blood circulation in the area of pain and discomfort. We do that by stimulating the meridian pathway associated with the pain, both locally and distally. Of course it is always important to do points for the root cause of this condition which is the kidneys.
One of the reasons for the pain can be a high level of tension in the surrounding muscles. This is a defensive reaction by the body to protect the neck. But this tension can also maintain the pain. So we have to release the tension gently – not too fast – and acupuncture can help here. When the tension is lessened more exercises can be done that will also increase the flow of energy and blood.
Acupuncture is a very helpful alternative in treating cervical spondylosis and is very effective in reducing the pain. It mobilizes the body’s own reserves and helps to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.
Key Diagnostic Points:
- Soreness, distention, radiating pain or heaviness of the neck, shoulder, arm or head, numbness of the fingers.
- Usually seen in patients over the age of forty.
- Usually due to hyperosteogeny of the cervical vertebra which stimulates or oppresses the cervical nerve root, spinal cord, vertebral artery or sympathetic nerve.
- In TCM terms, it is considered tendon and bone Bi syndrome.
Kidney deficiency and stagnation of Qi and Blood.
Treatment principle: Tonify Kidney and activate the Qi and Blood circulation in the channels and collaterals.
Point and Technique Prescription:
Cervical level Hua Tou Jia Ji points: (Even stimulation) Commonly chosen points are at the levels of C5, 6, and 7.
GB 20 and UB 10: (Even stimulation) Both the GB and UB channels can treat tendon and bones. These are also local points.
SI 3: (Even stimulation) Shu stream point for heavy and painful joints. One of the 8 confluent points which intersects with the Du channel which runs through the nape of the neck.
Lu 7: (Reinforced) One of the four key points, this one for head and neck. The Luo connecting point tonifies the Lung channel which is the mother of the Kidney channel, and so tonifies the Kidneys. The Lung channel (metal) is the mother channel of Kidney (water). Also, this point can tonify Yin in the Kidney and elsewhere because it is the confluent point for the Ren channel, the “Sea of Yin Channels.”
SJ 5: (Even stimulation) San Jiao channel for Qi diseases. Luo connecting points are especially suited to treat channel problems, can move Qi in the channel to stop pain where it is stagnant elsewhere.
UB 23 (Reinforced) Kidney Shu. Tonifies Kidney.