Acupuncture for neck pain

Neck pain is one of the most common issues I see in our acupuncture clinic. Even people who come in for acupuncture for other reasons often mention neck pain or tightness. Neck pain is prevalent because there are many activities and factors that affect the muscles, joints, and skeletal structure of the neck. Work habits, sleeping position, general posture, sports injuries, driving, whiplash from accidents, carrying heavy bags or purses, phone and computer use, stress, and viral infections are just a few common causes of neck pain.

When someone comes to me for acupuncture for neck pain, I perform a comprehensive orthopedic evaluation and exam, and determine the root cause of the pain. I also identify and target the tissues that need to relax to balance out the function of the neck. I have very good outcomes in treating neck pain with acupuncture and manual therapies such as gua sha (scraping) and cupping. I generally do a combination of local needles in the neck and upper back to release tight muscles, as well as needles in the legs, arms or torso.

In most cases I see improvement in pain and mobility within the first few visits. Typical treatment courses for neck pain vary depending on the severity and duration of the neck pain. Many neck pain disorders are resolved within 5-12 visits. If I’m not seeing an improvement within an expected treatment course, I refer out for additional care, such as chiropractic, physical therapy, or massage. These treatments are excellent complements to acupuncture, and can accelerate the healing process when combined with acupuncture. If I don’t see appropriate improvement within my expected timeframe, I refer my patients out to an orthopedic physician. However, most cases of neck pain are resolved with soft tissue and structural work, and don’t necessitate steroids, injection therapies, or surgery.

If you are suffering from neck pain or stiffness, we can help! Please call us at (503) 281-6909 or book online at

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