Neck pain acupuncture

Neck Pain – Everyone’s Got It

What can cause neck pain?

Our modern lifestyle includes a number of a factors that directly contribute to neck pain:

  • Cell phones
  • Computers
  • Stress

How do you successfully treat neck pain?

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Hydration
  • Magnesium
  • Anti-inflammatory support

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been successfully treating pain for centuries. While acupuncture needles are tiny, they get huge results. Treatments are relaxing, and many patients describe it as a spa-like experience.

How long will it take?  How many times do I need to get acupuncture?

The answer depends:

  • how much pain you have?
  • how long you have had the pain?
  • what you are doing every day to aggravate the pain?

A typical treatment plan to reduce pain includes acupuncture once or twice weekly  for 6 – 12 sessions.  Once the pain is better,  one might come one or two times per month for maintenance.

If you have insurance coverage for acupuncture, most likely it will cover the treatment of neck pain.

Other benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Stress relief
  • Allergy relief
  • Hormone balancing
  • Increased energy

Massage

Massage, especially deep tissue massage, can be great for relieving neck pain.  Massage works even better when combined with acupuncture. Getting acupuncture done first  loosens things up and makes it easier  for the massage therapist to get in and do more deep tissue work to relax the neck muscles.

Hydration

Dehydration increases neck pain.  When muscles are dehydrated they are more prone to spasms.  The simple act of staying hydrated goes a long way in reducing neck pain.

How does one stay well-hydrated?

  • 2 big glasses of water first thing upon rising
  • 1 glass of water every hour until dinner time
  • Add electrolytes, such as Emergen-C packets
  • Add a pinch of sea salt
  • Add a splash of fruit juice
  • Avoid lot of fluids during meals, as this will dilute the digestive juices in your stomach and decrease the breakdown and absorption of food.
  • Avoid sugary drinks like fruit juices, many vegetable juices (both carrot and beet juice are very high in sugars), or sodas.

Magnesium

Magnesium can be a magic pill for relieving neck pain.  It helps relax muscles, and improves water absorption for better hydration.  How much magnesium should you  take?  Magnesium is dosed to bowel tolerance.  If the body is getting more magnesium than it needs, it will cause the stools to become soft.  A good dose to start with is 200 – 300 mg daily.

Anti-Inflammatory Support

Ae you inflamed?

If you have pain in locations other than your neck, such as your joints or back, it is likely that you have  some inflammation. Anti-inflammatory support, including fish oil and turmeric,  can be extremely helpful.  Another great strategy is to minimize sources of inflammation, including inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy.

Experimenting with an anti-inflammatory diet for 3 – 4 weeks will determine if there are foods contributing to the pain.  An excellent approach is a Paleo diet.  Paleo is a whole foods approach that offers a lot of options, yet avoids the foods that tend to cause inflammation and pain.  There are many great resources available if you are new to a paleo diet, including the Whole30, which has books and a website with recipes.

If your neck is causing you pain – or your back, hips, knees, or anywhere else – we can help!

Please book an appointment, check your insurance benefits, or give us a call (510-595-1175) if you have more questions. We look forward to helping you soon!

Leslie Oldershaw, L.Ac.
Medical director
Acupuncturist East Bay
510-595-1175
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