Acupuncture for Neck & Shoulder, Arm & Wrist Pain

Acupuncture for Neck & Shoulder, Arm & Wrist Pain.

Many people nowadays experience neck and shoulder problems as a result of long-term stress, poor posture and repetitive muscle strain. Stiffness and pain is often caused by injury and inflammation as well as degeneration or compression of structures within the neck and shoulder. Shoulder and upper-back pain can also be referred from pinched nerves in the neck, and internal organs such as the liver, gallbladder, diaphragm or heart.

A variety of symptoms can affect the arm, elbow and hand such as pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness and changes in temperature or colour. Common causes include injuries, repetitive wear and tear, compressed nerves and vessels, as well as problems originating in the neck or shoulder.

Is Acupuncture Effective for Neck & Shoulder, Arm & Wrist Pain?

Don't just take our word for it. The following clinical trials have scientifically examined the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for neck & shoulder, arm & wrist pain.

Only reputable papers recently published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years are listed below.

The effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion for treating tenosynovitis

Evidence showed that acupuncture is valid for treating De Quervain's tenosynovitis. It also showed that it improves the local blood circulation of the lesion by promoting the repair of muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.

2020, Dec 4 • Huang, Shouqiang ; Fan, Qian B; Xiong, Jun; Liao, Kai; Hua, Fanghui ; Xiang, Jie ; Li, Changsheng; Jin, Hangyu Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The Effectiveness of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Frozen Shoulder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In this systematic review and a meta-analysis, acupuncture had shown to be a safe treatment with a significant effect in regard to reducing pain, improving shoulder function, and flexion ROM in the short term and midterm.

2020, Sep 25 • Eyal Ben-Arie, Pei-Yu Kao, Yu-Chen Lee, Wen-Chao Ho, Li-Wei Chou, Hsin-Ping Liu, Full Article

Acupuncture for lateral epicondylitis: A prisma-compliant protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Acupuncture treatments are effective in releasing neurotransmitters to relief tendinopathy. In this study, it is reported to have increase blood flow and collagen proliferation to help regenerate the tendon. Since lateral epicondylitis is a degenerative condition from repetitive damage rather than an inflammatory condition. The effect of acupuncture on recovery from the damaged tendon provides long term alternative and overall improved quality of life for elbow pain patients.

2020, Sep 11 • Kim, Ha-Na KMDa; Goo, Bonhyuk KMD, PhDb,∗; Nam, Sang-Soo KMD, PhD Full Article

Pain Research & Management
Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Lateral Epicondylitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Pain Research & Management

The systematic review and meta analysis of randomized controlled trials showed that acupuncture therapy is more effective than drugs and blocking therapy in improving the clinical efficacy rate.

2020, Mar 21 • Yumei Zhou, Yuebao Guo, Rui Zhou, Ping Wu, Fanrong Liang, Zhuoxin Yang Full Article

Clinical Rehabilitation
Acupuncture and related interventions for carpal tunnel syndrome: systematic review
Clinical Rehabilitation

The study showcase that acupuncture patients found symptom relief and function improvement. Manual acupuncture was also found to be better than ibuprofen for long term relief.

2019, Sep 26 • Irene XY Wu1, 2, Victor CK Lam3, Robin ST Ho3, William KW Cheung3, Regina WS Sit3, Li-Wei Chou4, 5, 6, Yan Zhang7, 8, Ting-Hung Leung9, Vincent CH Chung3, Full Article

Journal of Acupuncture Research
A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow
Journal of Acupuncture Research Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine Society

The systematic review showcased that acupuncture is effective for tennis elbow. The study was evaluated against NSAIDs with the intervention group showing a statistically significant effect. Patients reported to have an overall pain reduction after treatment.

2018, Nov 8 • Ji Hye Oh, Yun Kyu Lee, Jae Soo Kim, Hyun Jong Lee, Sung Chul Lim Full Article

Effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of shoulder pain: a systematic review of published randomised clinical trials

This study showed that acupuncture is more effective for shoulder pain than physiotherapy. It also indicated that acupuncture combined with physiotherapy or exercise was found to be more effective for frozen shoulder than physiotherapy or exercise alone in the short and long term.

2017, Dec 1 • A. Rubio M. Mansfield J. Lewis Full Article

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Acupuncture for neck disorders
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Cochrane

This study suggests that acupuncture relieves neck pain. Acupuncture is beneficial at immediate-term follow-up to reduce pain-intensity.

2016, Oct 17 • Trinh K, Graham N, Irnich D, Cameron ID, Forget M. Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Acupuncture for Lateral Epicondylitis: A Systematic Review
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

In this systematic review, we included a total of four randomized controlled trials with 309 participants suffering from lateral epicondylitis. The studies showed that acupuncture significantly improves elbow functional disabilities and myodynamic. Patients also reported to have increased strength and functional status of arms.

2015, Dec 30 • Hongzhi Tang, Huaying Fan, Jiao Chen, Mingxiao Yang, Xuebing Yi, Guogang Dai, Junrong Chen, Liugang Tang, Haibo Rong, Junhua Wu, Fanrong Liang, Full Article

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
Efficacies of Acupuncture and Anti-inflammatory Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute

The findings indicated that acupuncture significantly improved wrist pain. Patients reported to have a decreased in numbness, better quality sleep and increased in wrist mobility. There is also an overall decreased with intake of painkillers and non-steroidoidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

2015, Oct • Hadianfard M, Bazrafshan E, Momeninejad H, Jahani N. Full Article

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
Efficacy of Acupuncture versus Local Methylprednisolone Acetate Injection in De Quervain's Tenosynovitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute

The present trial shows that acupuncture can be considered as an effective, well tolerated, and safe alternative option in the treatment of patients suffering from De Quervain's tenosynovitis.

2014, Jun • Mohammadjavad Hadianfard, Alireza Ashraf, Maryamsadat Fakheri, Aref Nasiri. Full Article

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
Acupuncture and moxibustion for lateral elbow pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

This systematic review showcase that acupuncture shows significantly results with lateral elbow pain. The treatment reduced frequency of local anesthetic injection, local steroid injection and non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs. Overall, patients reported to have improved quality of life after receiving treatments.

2014, Apr 12 • Gadau M, Yeung WF, Liu H, Zaslawski C, Tan YS, Wang FC, et al Full Article

The Journal of Pain
Acupuncture for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
The Journal of Pain American Pain Society

The systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrate that acupuncture as a symptomatic therapy for carpel tunnel. In the long run, the patients responded better with acupuncture than steroid block therapy.

2010, Nov 22 • Lee, H., Shim, H., Shin, B., Jung, A., Lee, M., & Ernst, E. Full Article

Acupuncture points
Acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency. Acupuncture : review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials
World Health Organization, Geneva 2002