Shoulder Pain

neck_painTypes Of Shoulder Pain That Acupuncture Treatment Can Relieve

 The shoulder is an incredibly flexible joint with an extraordinary range of motion. This movement may be severely hampered by several conditions that may also lead to shoulder pain. These conditions include rotator cuff tendonitis, osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder (periarthritis or adhesive capsulitis), impingement syndromes and bursitis. Its relatively poor blood supply means that the shoulder takes a rather long time to heal from injury.

Shoulder Bursitis

This is usually caused by repetitive motion, injury, and impingement syndrome leading to inflammation. The inflammation is in the small sacs (bursa) filled with fluid that cushions the joint. The symptoms include joint stiffness, swelling and redness, pain with overhead activities, and pain while sleeping at night.

Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

The rotator cuff comprises the four muscles and associated tendons in and around the shoulder. Rotator cuff tendinitis is the swelling and inflammation of the tendons. Overuse as in tennis and throwing sports, or strenuous overhead lifting can cause this condition. The symptoms include pain when at rest or at night (worse when lying on the affected shoulder) and weakness when lifting and turning your arm.

Shoulder impingement syndrome

This is a combination of shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendinitis. The swelling and inflammation of the bursa and tendons cause the space of the shoulder joint to narrow. This leads to pain and restricted movement.

Frozen shoulder

This can occur when there is thickening or tightening of the capsule of connective tissue around the bones, ligaments, and tendons of the shoulder. The associated inflammation causes restricted range of motion and severe pain. Usually, there is no known cause, but those at increased risk include people with neck injuries and diabetes; and those who have had shoulder or open heart surgery.

Treatment with Acupuncture

Upon assessment of each unique case, the acupuncturist may decide to use points at the affected area (local) or away from the area (distal) for the insertion of needles. These trigger points would be along acupuncture meridians that transverse the painful part of the body. From an acupuncture standpoint, pain results from a blockage in the meridian, and properly applied acupuncture can remove those blockages.

In Chinese medicine it is thought that Qi and blood are two healing and regenerative forces in the body. Acupuncture promotes the circulation of both Qi and blood, which in turn stops pain. So simply put, acupuncture treats shoulder pain by stimulating the area to improve Qi and blood flow, relaxing the muscles and promoting healing.


Any medical practioner will tell you that when it comes to shoulder injuries and pain, prevention is the best possible medicine. But when you are unfortunately dealing with an injured shoulder and the related discomfort, acupuncture is a reliable method of getting relief.

shoulder tendon problem