Acupuncture & pain

Acupuncture can be used as an alternative or complementary (i.e. alongside your regular painkillers) treatment for most types of pain.

Conditions this includes:

  • Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sciatica and Neuralgia
  • Sports Injuries
  • Back and Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia, polymyalgia

It is thought that acupuncture:

  • stimulates the production of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers) (Pomeranz 1987; Zhao 2008)
  • reduces inflammation (Kim 2008, Kavoussi 2007;Zijlstra 2003)
  • increases joint mobility and reduces  stiffness (Komori 2009)
  • stimulates nerves and muscle tissue

Recent reviews have shown that it is more effective than no treatment or usual care for chronic back pain, osteoarthritis, or headache (Sherman 2009).

There is also evidence that it is more effective than sham acupuncture for chronic knee pain or headache and, at least in the short term, for chronic back pain (Hopton 2010).

See details of research into acupuncture and pain.