Acupuncture and cupping for neck, upper back and shoulder pain

August 31, 2021
Jenna Aquilina MAcOM, Dipl.Ac, L.Ac.

Do you have neck and shoulder pain?   Many people are now spending more time than ever on computers.  As well as getting injuries from sports, outdoor activities and just lifting things on a daily basis.  

Let’s take a tour of a few of the muscles that get involved, this is not an exhaustive list by any means:

Trapezius:  this muscle tends to get huge knots or trigger points around the acupuncture point called  GB 21.  It can be very painful and tight on many people. 

Levator scapulae:  This muscle helps to lift the shoulder blade and is also in the neck.

Splenius Capitis and Splenius Cervicis:  Help to stabilize the neck and are attached to the upper thoracic and cervical area.  

Sternocleidomastoid:  This is  a very large and visible muscle at the front of the neck that can be very tend to be very tight and involved in neck, shoulder and jaw issues.  

There’s a lot going on in the neck and shoulder area as far as muscles, nerves and blood flow.  We make use of our head and neck so much that overuse or even the slightest wrong motion can cause an issue, as well as whiplash and other injuries.  

In a typical session both local and distal (points on the arms and legs) acupuncture points will be used.  In addition, a manual therapy called cupping can also be used with acupuncture.  Cupping can produce some bruising so its best suited for people who are okay with some discomfort and discoloration during and after treatment.  

Conditions that acupuncture can help related to the neck and shoulder include trigger points, rotator cuff issues, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome, jaw tension, tension headaches, migraines and whiplash for example.  

If you’re curious and have more questions or would like to set up a consultation, please call to set up an appointment at ilumina at 602.957.2602