Ms Dan Jiang Acu-Herb Consultant

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Chronic Neck pain

Updated: Dec 19, 2018

Case 1. Acute attack of a chronic neck pain 

Female, 59 years old, doctor

On examination, the neck muscles on both sides are tenseness. There are evident tenderness and swelling in the area of the 3rd, 6th and 7 cervical vertebrae. Neck movements are restricted, particularly the left side. Left shoulder movements are restricted. Pink tongue with thin, white coating, wiry pulse.


Bai Hui (Du 20), Feng Chi (GB20), Neck Jiaji pang points 3, 6 and 7, Wai Guan (SJ 5), Zhu Lin Qi (GB41), Zhao Hai (KI 6, Jian Yu (LI 15), Bi Nao (LI 14). 

Needles are retained for 20 minutes.

After removing all the needles, select a point in the left forearm. It was found that the pressure pain point is on Hui Zong (SJ 7) between the ulna and the radius. Twisting, lifting and thrusting the needle from slight manipulation to strong manipulation, and ask the patient to move her neck.

Alternation the needling manipulation and the neck movements for 5 minutes.

After removing the needle, the patient felt the pain in the neck and the left shoulder was much better and she could move autonomously. She was then told to move her neck by extension, bending and turning. One week later, the patient came back to report that all pain has disappeared and the neck and the shoulder moved freely.

Case 2. Chronic neck pain caused by wear and tear

Male, 53 years old, company manager

He has been suffering from a neck pain on and off for more than 10 years, and constant neck pain for more than 2 years. X-ray diagnosed as C4-5 osteoarthritis. Work in front of a desk all year long. The neck pain and ache was getting worse gradually. 2 years ago, his car was hit from behind by another car when he was driving. There was not pain at the time, but since then there have been more neck pain attacks and they comes more frequently. Upper back is also achy and tired. Left arm is numb and there is formication. In recently years, neck pain is constant and sometimes it can be very severe and radiating to the top of the head and the occiput. He is on anti-rheumatics all year round, but pain killers make the stomach very uncomfortable and he has to stop them. He has received chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy treatments, but there has been no substantial improvement. Therefore, he decided to have acupuncture. In recent days, he has headache and bad sleep due to very busy work.

On examination, there are tenderness from C2 to C7, and swelling in C4 and C5. Pink tongue with thin, white coating, wiry pulse.


Bai Hui (Du 20), Feng Chi (GB20), Neck Jiaji pang points 4,5, and 6, Gan Shu (BL18), Wai Guan (SJ 5), Zhu Lin Qi (GB41), Tai Chong (LR3)

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After first acupuncture, he is used San Yang Luo (SJ 8) to strengthen the effects. After this treatment, the patient felt the neck was much looser, but the movements were still restricted. After 5 treatments over 5 weeks, all pain disappeared, but there was still pain attacks when over extending or in an improper position. These pains can be cleared after acupuncture. Following up for 5 more treatments on once every fortnight interval, the neck’s swelling and tenderness was completely cleared.


Jiang, Dan and Cheng, Ming Zhao (2009) Analysis and evaluation on acupuncture treatment of cervical pains in the UK: a study of 74 cases. East-West Integration Medicine, 4 (3). pp. 36-43. ISSN 1872-0064 


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