Here we consider the practical aspects of acupuncture for the client.
What conditions can acupuncture be used to treat?
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends considering acupuncture for chronic (long term) pain, chronic tension-type headaches and migraines. However, in practice acupuncture is often used as an adjunctive modality in the treatment of other musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis, tennis elbow and back pain. Acupuncture can be used when other treatments have failed but it does not work for everyone.
What can I expect during my treatment session?
Once your physiotherapist has identified acupuncture as a treatment which may be beneficial for you and has ensured that there are no contraindications, they will seek your consent. The practitioner will insert a single use, pre sterilised needle into a specific point on the body. The needle will be disposed of immediately after use. The physiotherapist will usually use more than one needle to achieve a greater effect. The depth of the needle will be determined by the structure that the practitioner is trying to reach. The needles are usually left in situ for 10 to 30 minutes depending on the aim of the intervention. During the treatment session, the physiotherapist may turn the needle to stimulate a greater response. Sometimes you may experience a dull, aching sensation or a heaviness during the treatment but your physiotherapist will communicate with you throughout.
What happens after the treatment session?
Acupuncture is generally a very safe treatment if administered by a qualified practitioner. Some patients may experience mild, short term side effects such as localised pain or tenderness where the needles have been in situ; bleeding or bruising immediately after the treatment or shortly afterwards; drowsiness; nausea or feeling dizzy or faint. As long as you feel well you will be able to proceed home after your treatment. There is nothing in particular that you should avoid. In our clinical experience, patients often report a good nights’ sleep following treatment! This is thought to be associated with stimulating the release of melatonin.
The physiotherapists practising Acupuncture at our clinics are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP) and are governed by their code of practice. All needles used are single use and pre-sterilised.
Physio and Health Matters are on hand to restore your health, call us to book an appointment or request further information.