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Pinched Nerves & Neck Pain

What is a pinched nerve?

Patients often seek acupuncture care for pain. One of the most common complaints is neck pain, of which there are many different causes. A pinched nerve in the neck may be caused by a small disc protrusion in the cervical spine sitting on or impinging a nerve as it exits the spine. The resulting pain can be excruciating.

Pinched nerve symptoms include:

  • muscle spasms in neck & shoulder
  • numbness in the neck
  • radiating pain into the shoulder and arm
  • loss of grip strength (if severe)

How acupuncture can help: Peeling the onion

In my clinic I work both regionally and locally. This means I loosen or relax the muscles in the neck & shoulder region using cupping and massage techniques. At the same time, I use acupuncture to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation. While these techniques do not cause a disc protrusion to recede, they will address the surrounding inflammation and may allow my patient to return to normal function.

Seeking medical advice

If you think you have a pinched nerve it may be important to see a physician before seeking acupuncture. This is especially true if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe dizziness
  • Severe, unremitting pain
  • Loss of grip strength
  • Atrophy or loss of muscle tone in your shoulder or arm

A Typical Treatment

Neck pain associated with a pinched nerve is often acute and as such will respond fairly quickly to treatment. Typically 2-4 acupuncture sessions will resolve much of the acute pain. Then the condition will continue to improve with time. Chronic neck pain will often require between 8-12 acupuncture sessions.

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