Subscribe for updates and to learn more:
Left Shoulder Pain
This is not a very special case to be honest. But I'm including it anyway because apparently a lot of people have shoulder pain old and new, and it never goes away. For some it is a on-and-off nuissance while for others it makes life simply miserable. Unfortunately many would rather leave it and deteriorate rather than seek medical help, which in the case of acupuncture would help quite immensely.
Just over the last 2 weeks I saw a patient who came in with a left shoulder that couldn't move. It is interesting and bizarre how it happened. Initially the pain wasn't on the shoulder, but on the elbow of the same side. Later on, somehow the pain on the elbow "moved up" to the shoulder, with the elbow pain completely shifting places to the shoulder. Initially the pain was bearable and range of motion was still ok. Later on it gradually got worse. The patient decided to use a handheld electric massager, ones designed to go for stiff areas around the body, directly on the shoulder. It was the case that quite obviously he massaged almost 360 degrees around the rotator cuff area. The pain ended up getting worse. By the time he came to see me, it's been 1 week already. Over-the-counter painkillers didn't work and his arm cannot move at all. He can't sleep because it hurts when he lies down, as gravity will cause the shoulder to fall backwards, pulling the injured tendons.
I did some physical examinations to see where the pain was, and it was really 360 degrees around the rotator cuff, although it seem to focus on the anterior and lateral aspects. When I pressed it a bit down on the area the patient jumped---it was really painful. To me this is a relatively new injury so treatment with acupuncture should deal with it quite easily. 3 treatments should be enough, I told him. If not completely then at least 50% should be dealt with. And hence I performed acupuncture. After the treatment I pressed the affected area again and the pain was less---the patient didn't jump. He left with some post-treatment care guidelines given to him.
2 days later, 2nd visit. The patient told me, the pain is gone during the evening. Sleep is much better. Range of motion hasn't seen much difference; he could only do slight swinging movements, but not big ones yet. I performed acupuncture again. The patient left.
3rd visit, 4 days later. The patient came back for the 3rd treatment. I was told, the day after the last treatment, he could almost fully use his arm. Then the day afterwards, he felt like things were back to normal. He joked with me saying if I really wanted to poke needles into him again. I said, "yes, but of course, it'll make recovery more complete". He performed in front of me the full range of motion, quite impressive actually for just 2 sessions of acupuncture. Technically speaking it hasn't completely recovered, because there was a little bit of tightness in the lateral abduction movement. But regardless, it is 98% in my opinion. That little bit of tightness doesn't pose much problem. After the 3rd visit I told the patient to take care of his shoulder since he doesn't need to come back anymore.
Shoulder pain is a common problem that many don't care about. Acupuncture is quite effective for shoulder issues, whether new or old, in my opinion.