Acupuncture for Neck Pain: The Best Neck Pain Relief Option

Neck pain can cause a lot of inconveniences and prevent freedom of movement. It is one of the most common problems faced by the majority of Americans who claim that this issue stops them from performing everyday and work-related activities seamlessly.

Muscle tension and back strain often cause pain in the neck area, but factors such as worn joints and broken down cartilage can also cause soreness. Massages and painkillers are efficient ways to reduce pain, but these are just temporary solutions. If you want a more long-lasting option, we suggest you consider acupuncture for neck pain.

Acupuncture, as well as other efficient therapies we’re about to mention, provide long-term effects and ensure you reestablish the freedom of movement in the neck. The following post will provide more in-depth explanations about the neck pain causes and potential treatments that go beyond standard approaches.

Relieve Neck Pain Successfully with Makari Wellness

With over 15 years of practicing Chinese medicine, Mike Woodworth from Makari Wellness provides unique therapies based on his clients’ condition and problem. His approach is specific because it combines SFMA/FMS diagnosis with dry needling, acupuncture, electro-stimulation, ART, and herbal therapies, delivering remarkable and long-term results. Don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 871-8889 to get the best acupuncture for neck pain San Diego has to offer.


What Causes Neck Pain?

Since your neck is flexible and supports your head’s weight, it can be quite vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and limit motion. The factors that commonly cause neck pain are the following:

  • Muscle strains: Muscle strains are often caused by spending too much time on the computer, smartphone, or even reading in bed.
  • Worn joints: Neck joints, as well as other joints in the body, tend to wear down with age, which affects joint motion and causes pain.
  • Nerve compression: This issue comes from herniated discs or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck. It can press on the nerves causing pain in that area.
  • Injuries: Any injury to the neck can provoke pain, especially those resulting from car collisions.
  • Certain diseases: Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer, can cause neck pain.

Generally, a wrong body position and bad posture can affect neck health and cause tensions and pain. So, try to use good posture while standing and sitting, adjust your desk, chair, and computer, and make sure your head and neck are aligned with your body to prevent painful and restricted neck movements.

What is the Best Treatment for Neck and Shoulder Pain?

Many methods can be used to address neck pain. Not all of them provide the same level of efficiency, some are just a temporary solution, while others can provide long-term relief. Apart from massage therapies and similar methods aimed at addressing the neck area, you can try acupuncture and other TCM treatments for neck pain and musculoskeletal disorders.

Acupuncture originates from China, and it has been used for thousands of years for treating a wide variety of degenerative diseases and providing pain relief. It involves the use of specific acupoints on the body, which are selected based on the condition that needs to be treated.

Needles used for acupuncture are thin, fine, and sterile, which means that the entire treatment is performed safely and efficiently. According to TCM, the stimulation of acupuncture points for neck pain on the body, helps unblock energy (qi), which allows it to flow seamlessly through the body and bring general well-being.

Consequently, acupuncture impacts the blood circulation and biochemical changes both in the place where needles are inserted and in the central nervous system. These changes can foster pain relief and bring other significant benefits to a person’s general health.

Before you start any treatment for neck pain, it’s essential to schedule the initial examination with your licensed practitioner and do all the necessary check-ups. Your acupuncturist will probably suggest the innovative and reliable Specific Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Functional Movement Systems (FMS) tests, which will help determine the right treatment for your condition.

SFMA/FMS tests will allow the practitioner to identify dysfunctions in the organism that result in pain. By diagnosing these dysfunctions, practitioners can find the fundamental roots of your problem and assess them holistically by using a combination of different treatments aimed at the entire body.

How Does Acupuncture Work for Neck Pain?

Acupuncture techniques are primarily aimed at pain relief, which is why they are considered incredibly efficient for people suffering from chronic neck stiffness. Besides improving the overall neck function, acupuncture reduces stress levels, which play a significant role in some cases.

Unlike Western medicine approaches, which tend to address the pain itself, Eastern medicine practitioners try to observe the root of the problem (pain in this case) and identify the underlying cause of the stiffness. According to TCM, neck pain and headaches are usually signs of something deeper going on, which is why your practitioner may pay attention to your spine’s health to check for the symptoms of bulging discs, injuries, damaged joints, and other issues.

Although it may be challenging to determine the exact cause of the pain, qualified acupuncturists will do in-depth examinations and find the root of your issue. You may be surprised to see that your neck pain is treated by inserting the needles in the abdominal area instead of the painful region – such an approach is efficient since it reduces the inflammation and strengthens qi and yang energy.

To deliver more enhanced results, acupuncture is often combined with electro-stimulation or other techniques that originate from TCM – moxibustion, cupping, Gua Sha massage, and herbal therapies.


Electroacupuncture for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Electroacupuncture involves the use of electric current to stimulate the acupuncture needles during the process. It’s an entirely safe procedure that has brought significant improvements to paints who suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain.

It has provided excellent outcomes in treating different kinds of pain, and most importantly, it can give long-term improvements in neck and shoulder pain. Your certified acupuncturist will suggest the exact number of therapies based on your condition and response to the treatment, and it’s recommended to stick to the plan in order to get the expected results sooner.

Acupuncture + Moxibustion as an Excellent Neck Pain Treatment

One of the most efficient TCM treatments for neck stiffness is the combination of acupuncture and moxibustion. Such a combination is much more effective than the standalone therapy since it can significantly reduce pain and numbness of the neck, shoulders, and limbs.

Moxibustion itself is also convenient for treating a wide variety of conditions. It involves the burning of the dried mugwort (moxa) on the skin’s surface, targeting the specific acupoints. Like acupuncture, it aims at re-establishing the flow of vital energy while encouraging the body to produce natural painkillers.

The combination of acupuncture and moxa will eliminate any weakness, and the sense of fatigue a person might be feeling due to the neck pain, preventing the onset of other inflammatory conditions at the same time.

This combination is also used for treating sciatica, frozen shoulder, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia.

Orthopedic Dry Needling

Orthopedic dry needling is another highly efficient treatment for sports injuries and muscle pain. Like acupuncture, it involves the use of small monofilament needles that address specific trigger points that might be causing pain and dysfunctions.

Dry needling is rooted in Western medicine, and it involves the stimulation of the points based on the body’s anatomy. It’s used as a rehabilitation therapy since it helps your muscles recover from injuries and stiffness.

How to Get Rid of Neck Pain with Manual Therapies?

There are numerous manual therapies and massages that can help reduce neck pain and reestablish the freedom of movement in the cervical part of the spine. For example:

Active Release Techniques (ART)

Active Release Techniques (ART) is one of the greatest ways to treat pain and injuries. Its efficiency lies in its performance, which requires specific tension and depth. ART provides various protocols for treating every muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, and nerve in the body, focusing on your posture and body position, breaking up scar tissue and adhesions.

Even after you’ve received a total number of ART sessions, your practitioner may suggest specific corrective exercises as your “homework.” It’s essential to continue with these exercises at home to prevent the further recurrence of the problem and strengthen the muscles as much as you can.

  • Jian Jing: It’s located in your shoulder’s muscles, halfway between your neck and where your arm begins. Its stimulation is used for headaches, muscle tension, soreness, and neck stiffness.
  • He Gu: You’ll find this point on the skin between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Wind Pool: Reflexologists use this point to treat everything from fatigue to headache, and you can find it behind your earlobe, toward the top of your neck and the base of your skull. It’s excellent for relieving neck stiffness caused by sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
  • Zhong Zu: This acupressure point is placed between the knuckles above your pinky and ring fingers. The stimulation of this point promotes the circulation and tension release, and it’s useful for reducing neck pain due to tension or stress.
  • Heaven’s Pillar: This point is located on both sides of your neck, at the base of your skull and two inches away from the top where your backbone starts.

It’s essential not to pressure points for neck pain without prior consultation with your practitioner, especially if you’re pregnant or suffer from any chronic condition.

Acupressure for Shoulder Pain and Neck Stiffness

Acupressure is one of the most commonly used treatments for addressing neck pain. It identifies points on your body that can be massaged and stimulated in order to relieve any pain a person may be feeling.

How to use reflexology for neck pain? The following acupressure points for neck pain have proven their efficiency in relieving soreness – apply a certain amount of pressure on them and you’ll see significant improvements:

Gua Sha

Gua sha is a natural, alternative therapy that includes scraping your skin with a massage tool in order to improve your circulation. It has been widely used for addressing chronic pain and bringing general health.

Gua sha is excellent for treating neck pain, especially when combined with acupuncture, herbs, and modified lifestyle when the results are quite satisfying.

How Can I Relieve My Neck Pain with Herbal Therapies?

Specific Chinese herbal formulae can be useful for alleviating the symptoms of the sore neck. They come in both oral and topical formulations, and they are excellent for treating degenerative disc disorders and other orthopedic problems you may be facing.

A professional Chinese herbalist will recommend a unique herbal formula based on your condition. It’s not recommended to take herbal remedies on your own since some of them can cause side effects. Consult your herbalist before taking any action.