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Acupunture or something more?

By DeskMonkey - 29 March 2012 36

I have extremely bad posture and this is due to the fact that I constantly at a computer.

Over the years it has been getting worse and I am suffering headaches as a result (plus I look like the hunchbacks’ sister!) I’ve tried oestopathy and don’t particularly want to keep paying a fortune for half hour massage sessions and a quick spine crack.

I’ve tried massages to reduce the tension in my shoulders, I’ve tried a brace to pull my shoulders back, I sit correctly at my desk and I’m running out of ideas.

Has anyone used acupuncture to get rid of knots in muscles and to relieve the tension in the shoulders… or is there anything else I could try (other than changing my job!)

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Acupunture or something more?
EvanJames 2:33 pm 29 Mar 12

You need a physio. You need work to relieve the immediate issues that are causing pain and headaches, and that might include a bit of acupuncture which is a reliever, not a cure. Some physios are qualified to administer acupunture. And if you find a good physio who is not an acupuncturist, they might be able to put you on to a good acupuncturist.

Then, you need what physios are particularly good at: fixing the cause. In your case that will mean some sustained work, remediating the muscle imbalance that has formed over time. But you’ll be amazed what can be achieved.

HenryBG 2:20 pm 29 Mar 12

Thoroughly Smashed said :

HenryBG said :

MrMagoo said :

Complementary Therapies like acupuncture can also provide relieve from the symptoms …

Unlike most woo, acupuncture actually *sometimes* can be shown to provide *weak* effects (greater than just placebo) on the symptoms.

The thing is – you should be getting the underlying condition treated using some kind of evidence-based medicine and not relying on woo which (at best) weakly masks the symptoms, but more generally woo (including acupuncture) causes a delay in people seeking genuine medical treatment thereby worsening their condition.

And, even when it does (weakly) work for a particular subject, it’s a very expensive way to avoid taking an aspirin.

Yeah, I forgot about that aspect of it.

Mind you – have you seen how much cheaper it is to go to a Chiropractor [quack][quack][quack] than to a real physiotherapist?
That’s why some people go to the quacks – they’re cheaper, and if you can convince them to leave off the neck manipulation (so you don’t risk ruptured blood vessels leading to strokes), you can get a cheaper massage from the quack than you can from the sane, trained professional.

Thoroughly Smashed 2:07 pm 29 Mar 12

HenryBG said :

MrMagoo said :

Complementary Therapies like acupuncture can also provide relieve from the symptoms …

Unlike most woo, acupuncture actually *sometimes* can be shown to provide *weak* effects (greater than just placebo) on the symptoms.

The thing is – you should be getting the underlying condition treated using some kind of evidence-based medicine and not relying on woo which (at best) weakly masks the symptoms, but more generally woo (including acupuncture) causes a delay in people seeking genuine medical treatment thereby worsening their condition.

And, even when it does (weakly) work for a particular subject, it’s a very expensive way to avoid taking an aspirin.

housebound 2:00 pm 29 Mar 12

+1 million for the ANU posture and flexibility class. If you can’t get to that, pilates is also good for computer-induced back and neck pain.

Acupuncture could help if you are in so much pain that you can’t stretch and you are sick of taking painkillers, but otherwise it is of little benefit. Osteopaths are like acupuncturists – great for short term relief, but you will need to do something longer term that deals with your imbalanced strength and flexibility.

Specialists just take your money. They are great for repairs and for long-term nerve issues and not much else in my experience.

It’s scary how much people here know about back pain.

HenryBG 1:58 pm 29 Mar 12

MrMagoo said :

Complementary Therapies like acupuncture can also provide relieve from the symptoms …

Unlike most woo, acupuncture actually *sometimes* can be shown to provide *weak* effects (greater than just placebo) on the symptoms.

The thing is – you should be getting the underlying condition treated using some kind of evidence-based medicine and not relying on woo which (at best) weakly masks the symptoms, but more generally woo (including acupuncture) causes a delay in people seeking genuine medical treatment thereby worsening their condition.

MrMagoo 1:50 pm 29 Mar 12

I have to totally disagree with the poster who said Massage doesn’t work long term. Massage Therapy that reduces the symptom logy of the issues is only the start. A good Therapist will also work with the client to adjust seating position, exercise/homecare that promotes a reformation of posture, re-aligning muscles that act on the spine and the shoulder girdle. Complementary Therapies like acupuncture can also provide relieve from the symptoms and aid in the rehabilitation of lazy/ weak or inhibited muscles.

The kicker in all of this is of course adhering to a treatment plan that is given to you by your therapist. Changing the way you sit, the amount of homecare you undertake, including exercise and stretching (both at your desk and away from it) will all lead to an improved postural situation.

Erg0 1:50 pm 29 Mar 12

CrocodileGandhi said :

So I would definitely stay away if I were you. I would suggest going to see a specialist. It may cost a pretty penny, but you know that you are recieving genuine medical advice from a qualified professional.

Alternatvely, sit at home and poke yourself randomly with sewing needles.

CrocodileGandhi 12:00 pm 29 Mar 12

Acupuncture has never been shown to be any more effective than placebo. The common test is for “genuine” acupuncture to be compared to “sham” acupuncture. The genuine acupuncture utilises experience acupuncturists, using the traditional methods and supposed energy points. The sham acupuncture utilises random people sticking needles in random places. The outcome is that patients report the same health outcome, regardless of whether they have recieved the geuine or sham treatment.

So I would definitely stay away if I were you. I would suggest going to see a specialist. It may cost a pretty penny, but you know that you are recieving genuine medical advice from a qualified professional.

patrick_keogh 11:59 am 29 Mar 12

30 minutes a day on a correctly fitted bicycle would not only help with this issue but would improve your overall health, reduce illness, increase mental sharpness, decrease stress, reduce weight, improve strength and fitness etc. etc. etc. etc. The same amount of time spent on a vigorous walk or swimming would probably do just as much.

Or you can keep trying to “patch up” the symptoms of a sedentary lifestyle.

Your call.

astrojax 11:54 am 29 Mar 12

i would suggest the posture and flexibility course out of anu – also run through seveal agencies, now… this will give you appropriate stretches to ensure your are well rested, flexed and postured, with the benefit that doing it for a while will increase your overall flexibility and provide your body with feedback mechanisms when you start to slump again…

they have a website – google ‘posture and flexibility’ and you should find it. do it…

devils_advocate 11:29 am 29 Mar 12

dtc said :

It might at first seem counter intuitive, but hunched shoulders can often be caused by too strong chest muscles (pulling the shoulders forward) (too strong relative to the back muscles). So a common suggestion is to improve the back muscles and stretch the chest. So hit the gym, forget about bench presses and focus on rows, pull ups etc. Dont forget swimming as well. Google “kyphosis exercises”.

If you have a muscle imbalance (rather than a spinal or genetic issue), then massage etc doesnt really help because it relaxes the muscles for a while but then they go back to their habitual posture. Active release therapy can be used in conjunction with resistance exercise, although how useful ART actually is remains the subject of debate.

^This.

surprisingly common, and the fix is to do back muscle exercises.

Acupuncture really helped me with my similar issue though – yes it doesn’t correct the posture, but it relieves the pain without resort to drugs and makes it easier to fix, because you can’t work out or stretch properly when the muscles are in constant pain.

I remember after suffering through similar condition for months, going to acupuncture and for the first time having a proper sleep, the relief was beyond words.

Bluey 11:26 am 29 Mar 12

dtc said :

It might at first seem counter intuitive, but hunched shoulders can often be caused by too strong chest muscles (pulling the shoulders forward) (too strong relative to the back muscles). So a common suggestion is to improve the back muscles and stretch the chest. So hit the gym, forget about bench presses and focus on rows, pull ups etc. Dont forget swimming as well. Google “kyphosis exercises”.

If you have a muscle imbalance (rather than a spinal or genetic issue), then massage etc doesnt really help because it relaxes the muscles for a while but then they go back to their habitual posture. Active release therapy can be used in conjunction with resistance exercise, although how useful ART actually is remains the subject of debate.

What this person said.

I have an imbalance from too much chest at the gym which was causing shoulder pain. A visit to a workplace rehab showed me the hows and whys this was happening and some stretches and exercises I could do a alleviate my pain. 3 days of stretching and pain was gone. Now I focus more on my back and stretch regularly and havent had pain since.

Get an OH&S check done by a professional too. Being a giant I needed a bigger chair with a deeper seat (long legs) and an adjustable height desk, made all the difference in at desk comfort.

jessieduck 11:11 am 29 Mar 12

You might think you’re sitting correctly but chances are something in the set-up is wrong. Your desk and chair should fit you, not the other way around. Insist on a OH&S check with a professional and get it sorted. It might make all the difference. It might be you but it might be the office.

Over the years I’ve had to accept that as a shorty I need adjustable desks, smaller chairs and a desk set up so that my screen sits on the desk and never on a PC. Offices should offer flexibility without any drama- it might save them a workers comp situation in the future.

Thoroughly Smashed 11:07 am 29 Mar 12

Acupuncture won’t improve your posture.

dtc 11:04 am 29 Mar 12

It might at first seem counter intuitive, but hunched shoulders can often be caused by too strong chest muscles (pulling the shoulders forward) (too strong relative to the back muscles). So a common suggestion is to improve the back muscles and stretch the chest. So hit the gym, forget about bench presses and focus on rows, pull ups etc. Dont forget swimming as well. Google “kyphosis exercises”.

If you have a muscle imbalance (rather than a spinal or genetic issue), then massage etc doesnt really help because it relaxes the muscles for a while but then they go back to their habitual posture. Active release therapy can be used in conjunction with resistance exercise, although how useful ART actually is remains the subject of debate.

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