Acupuncture may be offered to you as part of your physiotherapy. Acupuncture is one of a number of different types of treatment that the physiotherapist can offer, and there is good evidence for its effectiveness. Often a physiotherapist will use acupuncture alongside treatments such as exercise, joint mobilisation and general rehabilitation. Physiotherapists view acupuncture as a complementary therapy, rather than an alternative therapy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncture developed out of a concept of using needles inserted into the body as a means of balancing the movement and levels of ‘Qi’ (energy life force) within the body – an imbalance of Qi leading to disease, pain or disability.
Recent research is now supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture, particularly in the management of pain, suggesting that it is effective in the treatment of lower back pain, neck pain and knee osteoarthritis. Acupuncture combined with physiotherapy is now widely accepted within the NHS and private practice.
Acupuncture will be suggested to you when the physiotherapist believes that it may help improve the effectiveness of your overall treatment.
There are certain circumstances where acupuncture should not be used. If you have a known metal allergy (specifically stainless steel), a needle phobia or if you have a known infection in the area to be needled.
You should inform your physiotherapist if you:
Yes, but it does not work for all. Everyone is different and it is one of the strengths of acupuncture that we treat people individually to get better results.