Complaints: X-ray showed bone spurs impinging on a nerve at cervical vertebrae C6 causing neck stiffness and radiating nerve pain down the left arm into the hand. The symptoms began 5 months ago after waking up with a stiff neck. Prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and therapy temporarily helped but the symptoms were increasingly persistent and frequent.
Treatment Process: The patient came in twice a week for acupuncture treatment. On the second visit, three days later, the patient reported immediate and significant reduction of left arm nerve pain. The improved state was maintained but the pain had significantly increased after the third visit. A different acupuncture point combination was administered. The patient had incremental and consistent improvement in the next 6 visits with 97% improvement overall in frequency, duration, and intensity of the symptoms.
Discussion: Some patients notice significant improvement compared to prescription medications even with less optimal acupuncture points. It is a healthcare provider’s job to continually look for better treatments, especially when the pain comes back prematurely. In this case, the second option was better than the first, allowing the patient to achieve a level of improvement where she can complete her normal daily activities.
Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.