Acupuncture

At The Performance Clinic our physiotherapists are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists ensuring we adhere to the very highest standards of practice.

Acupuncture is used to treat a range of conditions. There is good scientific evidence for its effectiveness in relieving:

  • Low back pain
  • Tension type headache
  • Migraine
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Joint pain from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

Acupuncture is one of the many skills used within physiotherapy as an integrated approach to the management of pain, inflammation and as a means of enhancing the body's own healing chemicals in order to aid recovery and enhance rehabilitation. Acupuncture within physiotherapy is used within the background of clinical and research evidence. The concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient system of written scripts as far back as 1000BC, founded on the holistic concept of treatment and an acknowledgement of the body's ability to return to its balanced state of health, given the correct stimulus to do so. The body has the ability to self-repair; the use of Acupuncture or Acupressure enhances the repair mechanism and enables improved recovery times, allowing other physiotherapy treatments such as exercise, muscle strengthening and rehabilitation to achieve excellent results.

Acupuncture is used by Physiotherapists as a means of enhancing pain modulation via the stimulation of the brain and spinal cord to produce natural pain relieving chemicals, such as endorphins; melatonin to promote sleep, serotonin to promote well-being, to name but a few. They assist the body's healing process and offer pain relief as a precursor for other manual or exercise therapies.

Conventional acupuncture

This involves the insertion of single use, pre-sterilised disposable needles into the soft tissue at specific acupuncture points. The needles are of varying lengths and widths depending on the area being treated. Treatment will typically last for 20-30 minutes

Trigger Point acupuncture

Can be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following injury, unresolved muscle pain or to increase muscle length as a part of rehabilitation. Trigger point acupuncture produces an effect much quicker than conventional acupuncture and does not require the longer treatment times.

 

What to expect during an acupuncture session.

Following a thorough assessment, if your physiotherapist feels that you will benefit from acupuncture they will discuss with you how it works and what potential side effects there might be. You will be required to complete a written consent form which you can withdraw at any time. They will then ask you some specific questions to make sure that it is safe for you to have acupuncture.

You will not be able to have acupuncture if you:

  • Have an ongoing infection being treated with antibiotics
  • If there are any problems with the local skin such as wounds or infection
  • Have an allergy to metals particularly stainless steel
  • Unstable epilepsy
  • You are pregnant (in the first trimester acupuncture is not safe; following that acupuncture should only be performed by someone who has been trained in this area).
  • Have a pacemaker or heart problem
  • Are having chemotherapy

You must tell your therapist if you:

  • Have problems with low blood pressure,
  • Have any conditions where there is an increase chance of infection such as hepatitis
  • Have an autoimmune disease
  • Are diabetic
  • Are taking blood thinning medications
  • Are feeling generally unwell
  • Have haemophilia