Neck Pain Relief with Acupuncture

Neck Pain Relief with Acupuncture

1 October 2018 by Caitlin Armit

Neck pain relief with acupuncture


In 2016, The Cochrane Database Systematic Review published the article Acupuncture for Neck Disorders as an update to the 2006 review. Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care and health policy, and are internationally recognised as the highest standard in evidence-based health care. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The purpose of this review was to determine the effects of acupuncture for adults with neck pain. The focus was pain relief, functional measures, patient satisfaction and global perceived effect.

What was in the review?

There were 27 studies included:

  • Three whiplash associated disorders ranging from acute to chronic (205 participants)
  • Five chronic myofascial neck pain (186 participants)
  • Five chronic pain due to arthritic changes (542 participants)
  • Six chronic non-specific neck pain (4011 participants)
  • Two neck pain with radicular signs (43 participants)
  • Six subacute or chronic mechanical neck pain (5111 participants)

Review Findings

The review found that acupuncture is beneficial compared to sham ‘placebo’ acupuncture and immediate and short term follow up for pain intensity and at short term follow up for disability.

Minor adverse effects such as bruising, local swelling, dizziness and fainting were noted however the authors state that acupuncture appears to be a safe treatment modality with no life-threatening adverse effects and that acupuncture treatments were cost effective.

Review Conclusions – Is acupuncture effective for neck pain?

The authors state that this review provides moderate quality evidence that acupuncture relieves pain better than sham acupuncture and that those who receive acupuncture report less pain and disability at short term follow up than those receiving no treatment.



Categories: Brisbane Acupuncture Blog | Pain Relief Brisbane

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