Acupuncture may be offered to you as part of your rehabilitation and pain management programme at Progress. Acupuncture is one of a number of different types of treatment our Physiotherapists can offer and often a Physiotherapist will use acupuncture alongside treatments such as exercise, joint manipulation/mobilisation and general rehabilitation.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years, but has only recently started to become integrated into western medicine. Acupuncture is the science of puncturing the skin with needles in order to treat disease.

For a long time acupuncture has existed as part of traditional Chinese medicine, an ancient and esoteric system of medicine involving energy flowing around the body in channels.

What problems can acupuncture help and not help?

There is now reasonably good scientific evidence for acupuncture's effectiveness in relieving pain in arthritis, for example of the knee, as well as chronic back pain. It may also be useful in many other painful conditions, including migraine and some sports injuries.

What does acupuncture involve?

You are likely to have a number of needles, typically between four and ten, but possibly only one, inserted into your skin from half a centimetre up to several centimetres in depth. They are traditionally left in for 10-30 minutes, but some practitioners leave the needles in for only a few seconds.

Acupuncture needles are very thin and do not hurt in the same way as an injection. Manual twirling or a small electrical current (electro acupuncture) may be used to stimulate the needles.

How many sessions might I need?

Sometimes, for example for a sports injury, only one or two treatments are needed, but more often a course of acupuncture will consist of six or more treatments, particularly for longstanding problems.

Some people do not respond to acupuncture, and if there is no improvement after six to eight treatments, it is unlikely that acupuncture will help.