In the past few years at my acupuncture clinic, there has been an increase in patients coming in for treatment of shoulder pain. Mostly has gone for some western medical therapy such as taking anti-inflammatory, physiotherapy and local steroid injection. However they seem to be the unlucky ones where those treatments did not able to relieve the shoulder pain and improve the range of movements. The reasons for shoulder pain of these groups of patients are usually caused by acute or chronic injuries i.e. small torn or inflammation of muscles or tendons surrounding the shoulder joint, which often diagnosed as supraspinatus tendinitis, rotator cuff syndrome or bursitis in medical terms. Most of them do not required surgery but the pain can go on and on especially sleeping at night.
There is another type of shoulder pain known as “Frozen Shoulder” is a common condition in which the articular shoulder capsule (a sac of ligaments surrounding the joint) swells and stiffens, restricting its mobility. It typically affects only one shoulder, but one in five cases affect both. Frozen shoulder is a condition that commonly occurs in people between 40 and 60 years of age. Women tend to suffer with frozen shoulder more than men.
Both groups of patients report having trouble reaching back to put on a seatbelt, putting a jacket on, overhead motions, limitations on exercise and a general reduction in day to day function. You take for granted how difficult it is to operate with one functioning arm.
How does Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture treatment is frequently successful, as long as damage to the tendon is not severe, otherwise surgery is normally required. There are all 6 channels pass thru the shoulder with lot of acupuncture points which already been identified by our ancestors to treat the shoulder pain effectively. After the treatment, you should feel less pain, less stiffness in the joint, therefore increase range of movement. Base on my personal experience, having regular treatment is crucial to treat shoulder pain for example 2 to 3 times per week for a few weeks depends on your personal conditions. This is because the surrounding tendons and muscles have been “unlocked” immediately after each session. In order to achieve good treatment results, we must have a session before the joint starts to get stiff and pain again due to the inflammation that happens naturally after the injury. By doing so, the shoulder will have a good chance to recover gradually over the times. As I always say, treat the injury as soon as possible to reduce the number of treatment required, save your time, money and unnecessary painful days.