Acupuncture: Let’s get to the point!

Acupuncture: Treatment of the Month


Back Pain

  • 131 million working days lost to sickness in 2013 (UK) costing employers a massive £650 million
  •  More working days were lost due to Musculoskeletal conditions, such as neck and back pain than any other cause
  •  It is estimated that four out of every five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some stage in their life
  •  The number of people with back pain increases with advancing age, starting in school children and peaking in adults of 35 to 55 years of age
  •  The NHS spends more than £1 Billion per year on back pain
  •  Read more about NICE guidelines and low back pain here.


Most pain will settle within 6 weeks, but what if it doesn’t?

  • Often the reason for back pain is unclear, it can be postural related, without any injury/ trauma, gradually come on and then worsen or get no better.
  • The pain is often localised to the lower back, does not travel down past the buttocks and does not have any associated pins and needles, numbness or bladder/ bowel disturbances.
  • This is often at the point we see people in the clinic, where they are simply fed up of the pain and want help to make it go away.
  •  NICE (national Institute for Health and Care Excellence) recommend manual therapy and exercises (which is what we would normally do within a Physio appointment) OR a course of ACUPUNCTURE.


Tension-type Headache/ Migraine

  • More than 10 million people in the UK experience regular or frequent headaches, making them one of the most common health complaints.
  • They account for around 1 in 25 of GP consultations.
  • It has been estimated that up to 1 in 50 people experience headaches caused by medication overuse and that women are five times more likely to get them than men.
  • Tension – the common “everyday” headache most people will experience at some point in their lives. In some cases people have tension headaches on most days of the month.
  • Migraine – severe headache that can last for several days. It gets worse with activity and often comes with nausea as well as sensitivity to light and sound. It can be with or without aura.
  • Headaches should be properly diagnosed by your GP.
  • You will often be asked to keep a headache diary.
  • NICE guidelines 2013 include a recommendation for acupuncture in patients susceptible to migraine and tension headaches.
  • The full article from NICE can be found here.



  • An ancient form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
  •  Uses single use sterile needles inserted into specific points along Meridians (channels) in the body.
  •  At Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic, Acupuncture is performed by a Chartered Physio registered with the AACP (Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists).
  • Modern research shows that Acupuncture stimulates the brain via nerve endings in skin and muscles. When the brain is stimulated in this way it releases pain relieving chemicals. These can assist our body to repair itself when injured.
  • A full medical history and physical assessment will be carried out prior to any treatment. Only sterile, single use disposable needles are used.
  • The needles are then inserted into specifically selected acupuncture points. You may have between 2-16 inserted depending upon the condition being treated.
  • The needles may be inserted in and around the problem area, away from it (in the hands and feet), on the opposite side of the body and occasionally points in the ears are used.
  • Once the needles are all in place the therapist will occasionally stimulate the needles by gently turning them. You may feel a mild ache, numbness or heaviness around the needles. This is referred to as De-Qi by the Chinese and is a sign that the area is being stimulated.
  • Needles are normally left in place for approximately 20-30 mins.
  • Effects may not occur straight away but they should be apparent in 2-3 sessions. Treatment will be discontinued if there is no effect after 6 sessions.

15% off Acupuncture Treatments at Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic in July 2014

For more information or took book your Acupuncture appointment please call us on 0191 548 3388 or email

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