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  • Writer's pictureNicci

Acupuncture for musculoskeletal pain - a personal story

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

image of skeleton with pain in knees hips elbows shoulders wrists and head musculoskeletal pain

This is not only the story of how I used acupuncture to resolve my back pain but also why I was drawn to study classical Chinese acupuncture and to set up Acupuncture Surrey.

I hurt my back a few years back working in the garden. It was really annoying because I wasn't even doing anything strenuous, I just picked up an empty pot and twisted in an awkward fashion. At first it felt like I'd pulled a muscle but before long I was flat on my back on my bed and unable to get up.

My GP prescribed strong painkillers and anti-inflammatories and advised me to wait for it to improve. Now of course I did this, anyone who has thrown their back out knows how scary it can be and how all you want to do is avoid another bout of 'that pain'.

A week or so later, only slightly improved, I sought out an osteopath. I attended osteopath treatments for several months but still was not back to my old self with lingering pains, stiffness and electric shock sensations when I sat for too long. A drive from Redhill to Bristol was a particularly uncomfortable experience!

I decided I needed to seek help elsewhere and so approached a classical Chinese acupuncturist. I had never had acupuncture before and wasn't sure whether it would help but thought it was worth a try. After the first treatment my back improved from about 80% of pre-injury level to 95%. The second treatment saw that go to 100%. I stuck at it for a few more weeks to make sure that the immediate issue was 'fixed' and started to see other benefits including reduced stress and better sleep.

I was so impressed with the efficacy of acupuncture that I continued having treatments monthly, using it to address a wide range of issues including low energy and the occasional bout of lower back ache.

When, in 2019, I was looking for a way to compliment my tai chi and qigong practice while at the same time giving back to my community I was inspired to visit the UK's oldest acupuncture clinic, the International College of Oriental Medicine (ICOM). I signed up and after a tough 3-year course qualified with one of the 3 highest results in the college's 50 year history... and the rest is history...

So back to acupuncture and chronic pain.

Acupuncture is recommended by the UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) (the body that the NHS looks to for advice on treatment approaches) for the treatment of chronic primary pain.

The three most common sources of chronic pain are low back pain (29%), neck pain (16%), and severe headache or migraine pain (15%).

Chronic pain can have a debilitating effect on quality of life and is major contributor to absenteeism and lost productivity in the workplace.

Acupuncture is widely known for its effectiveness in the treatment of pain. In a 2-year survey of over 89,000 patients published in 2016, 93% of patients said that acupuncture had been successful in treating their musculoskeletal pain. Another study concluded that “mounting evidence supports the effectiveness of acupuncture to treat chronic low back, neck, shoulder, and knee pain, as well as headaches.”

If you are looking for a natural way to manage your pain, contact Acupuncture Surrey for a free 15-minute consultation or to book an appointment.

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