Musculoskeletal pain


Acute and chronic pain

Acupuncture has long been regarded in China as an effective treatment tool for both acute and chronic pain. Acupuncture assists in reducing swelling, pain and aiding the recovery process. Clinically, most acute musculoskeletal conditions or sports injuries respond quickly to acupuncture within 1-3 treatments. 

Chronic conditions can take a little longer for general cases, but most patients can expect relief from their pain after their initial treatment. For stubborn and slow changing conditions, it is often recommended to receive at least two treatments per week to obtain effective results.

Chinese medicine cupping

Specific conditions

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Rheumatoid & Osteoarthritis
  • Lower back pain and sciatica
  • Upper back and neck pain
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Frozen shoulder or bursitis
  • Knee pain
  • Plantar fasciitis

What does the research say?

A research study conducted in the Current Opinion in Anesthesiology, titled ‘Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: an Update and Critical Overview’ concluded that there is significant mounting evidence to support the efficacy of acupuncture for chronic pain conditions. They further stated that emerging data supports its use as an adjunct or alternative to opioids, and in pre-operative care settings.

"Mounting evidence supports the effectiveness of acupuncture to treat chronic low back, neck, shoulder, and knee pain, as well as headaches. Additional data are emerging that support the use of acupuncture as an adjunct or alternative to opioids, and in perioperative settings

Yin, C., Buchheit, T. E., & Park, J. J. (2017). Acupuncture for chronic pain: an update and critical overview. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology, 1

More research

A meta-analysis of 17,922 patients from randomized trials concluded, “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option. Significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo.”[21] A follow up study with this data looking at long-term pain relief, found that the benefits of acupuncture persisted 12 months after treatment ended.[22]

Cupping therapy

Cupping is frequently used as an adjunct to acupuncture for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Cupping involves applying cups to the skin through a suctioning effect, which can be thought as a ‘reverse massage’. Instead of compressing the muscle and fascia using pressure, the suctioning effect pulls on the local tissue, increasing blood circulation to initiate a therapeutic response. There have been numerous studies which theorise how cupping works. These include:

  • Relaxation of the muscles
  • Changes in local tissues structure
  • Promotion of local blood flow
  • Activating a therapeutic immune response
  • Aiding in detoxification
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