Chronic Joint Pain: Does Acupuncture Really Work For Joint Pain? - Paul Gough Physio Rooms

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Chronic Joint Pain: Does Acupuncture Really Work For Joint Pain?

This month I’d like to talk to you about Acupuncture…

Now a lot of people have heard of it but aren’t entirely sure what acupuncture actually entails… so let me explain:

Acupuncture is a form of physiotherapy used at Paul Gough physio rooms however from my experience it is one of the lesser known/understood forms of physiotherapy intervention. I have even had clients who have been receiving acupuncture from other health care providers and still don’t understand why they are having it or what it does. This blog will answer some frequently asked questions we hear at Paul Gough physio rooms (PGPR):

What is acupuncture?:

Now this is a very common question I get asked a lot by clients who are considering acupuncture or who are about to receive acupuncture. Acupuncture, put simply is the insertion of very fine needles into particular points on the body to get a specific therapeutic effect.

Does it actually work?:

If I had a pound for every time I was asked by clients, “does it actually work?”, my family would probably be expecting better Xmas presents than socks and Terry’s chocolate oranges.
Every form of treatment physiotherapists use MUST have scientific evidence supporting it/research backing it. In other words, there has to be proof that what we are doing works which I’m sure you will agree makes perfect sense. Acupuncture through scientific research has proven particularly effective when used to treat tension headaches and non-specific lower back pain, 2 conditions that we see a lot at PGPR.

How does it work?:

Now this question is up there with, “does it actually work?”. The main reason we incorporate acupuncture into a clients care plan at PGPR is for either PAIN RELIEF or for REDUCING MUSCLE TENSION. when a needle is inserted into a particular acupuncture point it stimulates nerve fibres that cause endorphins to be released. Endorphins are probably best described as your body’s very own, natural painkillers. It’s like pain relief without having to take medicine!. Acupuncture can help to reduce muscle tension as when the needle is inserted the muscle reacts by gripping onto the needle initially and eventually relaxes it’s grip causing tension to reduce.

Is acupuncture from physiotherapists the same as traditional Chinese medicine?

There are similarities between the two however like I explained earlier, everything a physiotherapist does must be backed by research. The physio will perform a full clinical assessment prior to proceeding with acupuncture to best establish wether you would likely benefit from this treatment or wether another form of treatment would be better for your condition.

Does it hurt?:

To get the best response from acupuncture you must feel a sensation from the needle. Normally when the needle is first inserted you might feel a sharp pain at the needle site. The needle will then be stimulated until you feel a slight dull ache at the needle site. This sensation shows the physiotherapist that the correct muscle fibres/ nerves are being stimulated in that area which will result in the best possible pain relief and reduction in muscle tension. The physiotherapist will intermittently move the needles whilst they are in the particular acupuncture point to stimulate that area so that you get a better response from the treatment.

How long does it last?:

The duration of benefits from acupuncture vary from person to person. A longer lasting pain relief is often encouraged through inserting and stimulating needles bilaterally or placing needles into specific areas with more nerves such as the hands can give a longer lasting pain relief.

I hope this has answered some of the queries you have about acupuncture and will make you more comfortable with the process.


If you’d like to know more about acupuncture simply call one of the better health assistants who will be happy to answer anymore questions or queries you may have about acupuncture 🙂

Until next time…

Jonny Corner

To read a little more about acupuncture take a look here:

or alternatively take a look at our acupuncture page packed full of information and stories from real life clients of ours:

Paul Gough
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