What Are the Most Common Applications of Acupuncture for Pain?

Pain can be frustrating, especially when it keeps you from doing what you want and need to do each day. If you’ve been searching for relief for your pain, you may have come across acupuncture. This alternative treatment approach can be effective for many things. Here’s what you need to know about using acupuncture for pain.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine approach that uses thin needles inserted at specific points in the body to ease pain, reduce stress, and promote wellness. Chinese medicine holds that the body’s energy, known as qi (pronounce CHEE) flows throughout the body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncture uses the needles, inserted along the pathways, to re-balance the qi and promote health and wellness. Western medicine explains that the needles are inserted into specific points to stimulate nerves, connective tissue, and muscles, which get the desired results.

How is acupuncture used?

Acupuncture is used primarily for pain relief. However, because Chinese medicine holds that the points used re-align the qi throughout the body, it can be used for a wide range of health and wellness concerns, including mental health, gastrointestinal problems, and chronic symptoms. Practitioners use their knowledge of the body’s qi meridians to place the needles based on your needs. Different body systems correspond with different meridians, so placing the needles appropriately will re-align your qi to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

Common applications of acupuncture for pain

Though acupuncture does have a wide range of uses for health and wellness, it is most commonly used for pain relief. Here are the most common applications of acupuncture for pain.


Headaches and migraines can be debilitating, even with medicine. Many people turn to acupuncture to ease headache and migraine pain, either as a primary treatment or as a complementary alternative treatment to supplement medications and other treatments from Western medicine. Many hold that acupuncture stimulates the nerves in the head, releasing endorphins and easing headache and migraine pain.

Back pain

Back pain can also be debilitating. Whether you have an office job that requires you to sit uncomfortably all day or a physical job that puts you at risk for back injuries, acupuncture can be used to relieve back pain and allow you to get on with your daily needs. When using acupuncture for back pain, the practitioner will target the area of your back causing you the most pain and problems rather than your entire back. This will make the process more effective at treating your pain.


Osteoarthritis can lead to widespread pain that impacts your ability to move and take care of yourself. Acupuncture can be used to ease pain and stiffness associated with acupuncture. It is typically best used in combination with other treatments, such as medication. When using acupuncture for osteoarthritis, the practitioner will target your painful joints to ease the pain.

Chronic pain

People with chronic pain, like people diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other conditions, may find that acupuncture is a good way to manage symptoms. This is especially useful for people who have widespread pain. It can be difficult to target specific body systems with medication. however, acupuncture can target specific areas of the body, so no matter where you are feeling pain, acupuncture can help.

Things to consider before acupuncture

If you are considering acupuncture for pain relief there are a few things you should consider prior to your first session:

  • Make sure that you get acupuncture from a qualified, experienced practitioner to help ensure you get the desired results.
  • Ask questions about the process so you are comfortable during your session, especially if it’s your first time with acupuncture.
  • Be clear about your pain and needs. Providing information about what you need will help your practitioner target the source of your pain more effectively.
  • Do not stop your Western pain management treatments without consulting a health care professional, even if acupuncture is working for your pain.

Acupuncture can be an effective way to deal with your pain whether it’s due to a sudden injury or a chronic condition. Contact us today to learn more about acupuncture and how we can help you get relief for your pain.  Call 205-637-1363

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