There are many studies in the western medicine that show the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating shoulder problems. According to a recent study performed by NYU Langone Medical Center, “benefits have been seen in studies of people with tendonitis in the shoulder. A trial of 52 people with rotator cuff (shoulder) tendonitis found acupuncture more effective than sham acupuncture. In addition, a study compared superficial to deep-insertion acupuncture in 44 participants with shoulder pain and also found relative benefits, which lasted for at least 3 months. In another study, 117 people with rotator cuff injury (including tendonitis) were randomized to receive corticosteroid injections plus exercise or 10 acupuncture treatments plus exercise. Both groups experienced similar improvements in shoulder function and pain.”
According to the World Health Organization (@WHO), acupuncture treatment has been proved effective through controlled trials for periarthritis of the shoulder. Another 2004 report performed at the University of Osla, according to LIVESTRONG.com, acupuncture treatment “provides long-term relief effect for neck and shoulder pain” for the female office workers who had chronic neck and shoulder problems, and 70% of the women reported improvement.
The shoulder problems can be caused by several reasons due to its anatomical structures. Your doctor may diagnose your shoulder problems with your medical history, physical examination, and ordering imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasound, MRI, and blood work to rule out certain conditions. These are great tools to physically diagnose your shoulder problems. Your doctor may also have started treatment on you with RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), pain medications, physical therapy, and asked you to modify or avoid certain activities that may aggravate your signs and symptoms. Sometimes, if a condition gets worse, a surgery may be suggested. However, according to Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, “a comprehensive examination and evaluation must precede any surgical procedure. In most cases, a more conservative, nonsurgical approach is warranted, including a good rehabilitation program.” Later he adds that, “postoperative pain from shoulder procedures usually lasts longer than that for similar arthroscopic procedures in the knee”. He states that his patients complain of pain for weeks and even months with discomfort and difficulty moving the shoulder. Therefore, one must discuss in details and evaluates all options and conditions with his or her doctor prior to considering a surgery for the shoulder.
While acupuncture treatment is a safe and non-drug therapy, it has been shown effective in enhancing the self-healing effect, reducing pain, swelling and inflammation in our body, and reduce or avoid the use of drugs. It can give you immediate relief and provide long lasting benefits after treatment. My focus and interests in acupuncture have included #musculoskeletal pain management and #sports medicine acupuncture. I would be happy to work with you and discuss with your doctor on how acupuncture treatment can be a supplementary treatment to your recovery in your shoulder problems.