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Treat Shoulder Pain with Acupuncture

Table of Contents

shoulder pain acupunctureIn this article we’ll discuss shoulder pain, which is one of the conditions that can be treated with acupuncture. In fact, neck and shoulder pain are one of the most treated issues at the Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center clinic. For those who suffer from aching shoulder pain, regular acupuncture sessions can be a helpful approach for dealing with symptoms. Acupuncture is performed by inserting thin needles into strategic points on the body – acupuncture for shoulder pain specifically is performed similarly. 

Let’s discuss more about how Acupuncture can help with Shoulder Pain. 

Acupuncture is a great way to comfort shoulder pain. It helps with severe conditions, like frozen shoulder and arthritis, and can even help with the smallest shoulder discomfort, caused by repetition or sleep position. Shoulder pain is a pretty common occurrence, according to studies by the National Institute of Health. The organization put out a report concluding that shoulder pain happens to about 15 out of every 1,000 people each year – but that 70% of people experience it in their lifetime. Shoulder pain recurrence is incredibly common as well, with 40-50% of people reporting that their pain is chronic or recurring. That’s why it’s important to understand  acupuncture as a method for healing the shoulder. Acupuncture Pain & Stress Center combines eastern and western approaches to healing, which better assist patients with their pain, especially when compared to the most common American medical solution for pain: pain pills.

Trigger Points

Before we get into shoulder pain, let’s talk about trigger points and how they cause your pain.  For thousands of years in Chinese medicine these have been called Ashi points  or “oh yes” points – they’re places that cause pain upon palpation of the tissue. Trigger points are tight and tender bands in the belly of a muscle. They can appear in any muscle and cause pain directly in the muscle while also referring to other areas. Trigger points are areas where the muscle has shortened and tightened – also called contraction. The circulation in these areas is impared, causing a lack of oxygen and nutrients. It also impairs the ability to clear waste products, resulting in pain and muscle dysfunction.

Muscles do not function in isolation, so when one muscle’s function is dysfunctional it can cause a series of reactions in the chain of muscles that work together to allow or produce certain movement. So when treating your injury we are looking for a pathway of pain. Connected places in the body affected by the injury or illness.  We look for the areas of tightness causing muscle dysfunction as well as areas where there is pain.  Only when both are treated can you achieve the rapid result I do with my patients, here at Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center.  This type of treatment is what dry needling was originally based off of. In fact, the two have tons of similarities. If you’re interested in learning more about dry needling, here is a link to a video I did on it. 

What is Shoulder Pain?

shoulder pain acupuncture treatmentShoulder pain happens for multitudinous reasons.  Some of the most common reasons are overuse, injury, and conditions like arthritis. The people most at risk of injury due to overuse are those that use their shoulders repetitively at work. Occupations that get hit with these repetitive injuries the most are those with forklift operators, professional athletes, mechanics, and line workers. The problem with these occupations is that the worker is constantly using their shoulder joints. 

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint, providing lots of flexibility, but also allowing for the possibility of injury.

Shoulder Joints

The human shoulder is composed of two shoulder joints, as well as various tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The rotator cuff is also important when it comes to shoulder mobility, as it is made up of four muscles that stabilize and support the area. 

  1. Glenohumeral Joint – This diarthrodial joint is formed at the humerus and scapula and connects the glenoid socket. The Glenohumeral Joint is considered the most mobile joint in the body. It’s also the least stable, as it’s commonly dislocated.
  2. Acromioclavicular Joint – Known commonly as the “AC joint,” it is formed at the top of the shoulder, more specifically at the tip of the scapula (an area also called the acromion) and the clavicle.

What are Common Causes of Shoulder Pain?

Let’s get more into depth about the causes of shoulder pain. 

  • Injury is a common cause of shoulder pain. Injury includes stress-related fractures, sprains, strains, and overuse. It also includes bone spurs, dislocation and conditions like frozen shoulder. 
  • Shoulder bursitis occurs when the bursa, which are fluid-filled sacs that cushion movement and mobility, get inflamed and irritated. Shoulder bursitis can be very painful. 
  • Tendonitis happens when the tendons in the shoulder get irritated and inflamed and then wind up tearing. 
  • Arthritis is a common condition that occurs more often as we age. It can affect any portion of the body, including the shoulder. Arthritis causes inflammation, pain, and limited range of motion.

How is Shoulder Pain Commonly Treated?

shoulder pain raleigh acupunctureAcupuncture is great for shoulder pain because it doesn’t rely on western medicine and painkillers, which only helps the problem for a few hours at a time. Common treatment for shoulder pain includes:

  • Medicine, like opiate pain killers, Ibuprofen, or Tylenol
  • Alternating a heat and ice pack. This can reduce swelling. 
  • A corticosteroid injection
  • At-home exercise to help strengthen and stretch the joint
  • Surgery, in the case of frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tears, and cartilage tears

How Can Acupuncture Help with Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can be treated with acupuncture. To do it your practitioner will stimulate certain points on the body in order to alleviate the pain and inflammation. In addition to needle insertion, the therapy may include:

Shoulder pain is uncomfortable. It causes a lot of inflammation, swelling and overall discomfort. The good this is, acupuncture can help. Acupuncture doesn’t rely on painkillers to get the job done. Instead, acupuncture helps stimulate blood flow, which can help restore nerve function and improve pain points overall.

Where can I treat Shoulder Pain with Acupuncture in Raleigh, North Carolina?

Shoulder pain is one of the conditions that can be treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture can also help with pain, swelling, migraines, bursitis, muscle cramps, hip pain, carpal tunnel, and more. If you’re searching for a qualified Acupuncturist to help with your shoulder pain in Raleigh, North Carolina, you’ll want to find someone with experience, qualifications, and compassion. Look no further than Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center. Our goal since 2010 has been to provide quality and compassionate acupuncture in Raleigh, NC and the surrounding areas.


Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center for all of your Acupuncture needs

Hi, I’m Jim Eleczko, the founder of Acupuncture Pain and Stress Center and it’s my mission to provide you with compassionate, whole-person care using holistic treatments, including Acupuncture and topical herbal medicine. I’m a board-certified and licensed Acupuncturist practicing since 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina. I love that I get to wake up every day to make meaningful changes in my patient’s lives. I’ve seen first hand the changes that Acupuncture can make. As a teen I suffered from allergies and my father suggested that I try Acupuncture to calm the symptoms. It worked – and left a lasting impression on me! Now I offer Acupuncture and other treatments to help people with a variety of issues, including anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, and more. Our other treatments include Dry Needling, Tuina Massage, Guasha, Cupping, Stretching, Orthopedic Movements, Electroacupuncture and Therapeutic Exercises. 

Here’s a bit more about me and my qualifications: I studied the 4-year program at Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine and continue to travel multiple times a year to study with my mentor, Andrew Nugent-Head. I also studied under Dr. Ed Garbacz, M.D. LAc and spent a year working and studying under Dr. Bonnie Walker, M.D. LAc. I have also done extensive post-graduate studies in acupuncture, nutrition, herbal medicine from lectures of acupuncturists like Dr. Nguyen Van Nghi, Dr. Tran Viet Dzung, Matt Callison, and Edward Obaidey. 

Get in touch with me by calling (919) 260-4104. I’d be happy to answer your questions and get you booked for an appointment today!