Acupuncture for Back and Neck Pain: An Uncommon Treatment for a Common Ailment


Have you ever considered acupuncture for back and neck pain? It may not be one of the more common pain treatments, but acupuncture does have a lot to offer. If you’re a little intimidated by the prospect, or you want to learn more about how acupuncture can help you with neck and back pain, read on to find answers to your questions.


back and neck pain
Photo by Chris Slupski/


Back and neck pain: What you should know

Literal pains in the neck can be just as bothersome as the metaphorical ones. Some causes of back and neck pain can be obvious, but some can surprise you. The sensation of pain also isn’t the only thing that you can expect to feel, as there are other sensations that may accompany it.



The usual causes

It can be difficult to determine the cause of back and neck pain, even with the technology available to us now. It also doesn’t help that there is a plethora of possible causes. This kind of pain can result from things like overuse, lifting heavy loads, and improper posture while sitting down for long periods. Arthritis can also affect your back and neck, aside from other joints.


Injury, muscle tension, sprains and strains, and a pinched nerve can also be the source of pain in the area. The effects of a poor lifestyle, such as obesity, can also put a strain on the back and neck. Smoking, while not as obvious as the other causes, can also lead to pain.




Aside from pain, there are also other symptoms that may arise from back and neck pain. If the pain is in your back, you may also experience some tingling or numbness in your leg. You may also feel shooting pains go from your back all the way down the back of your thighs, calves, and even toes.


As for neck pain, you may also experience headaches, numbing or tingling in your arm, and shoulder pain.


However, there is also the possibility that the symptoms won’t simply stop there. If your life is significantly affected by pain, or if that pain is accompanied by other symptoms, please consult with your doctor before seeking out alternative and complementary treatments like acupuncture.



Acupuncture for back and neck pain

There are a number of ways to treat back and neck pain, including the use of hot or cold packs, exercising, stretching, medications, and braces. While these solutions can be effective, you can also consider undergoing acupuncture. After all, acupuncture doesn’t just just relieve pain. It can also help you improve your health from the inside out.


The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic can provide you with acupuncture as well as other services. Our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, Tram Pham, has been running the clinic since 2016. She also has years of experience in the long-standing practice of acupuncture and herbal medicine, and has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine from Yo San University.


acupuncture for back and neck pain
Find all-natural pain relief in acupuncture. Photo by Jon Flobrant/


How acupuncture works

Acupuncture is quickly becoming more and more recognized in the US for its abilities to help treat a variety of ailments. However, it’s been practiced in for thousands of years in China, where it originated. The rest of the world is catching up, though perhaps just a tad late to the party.


So how does it work? Basically, an acupuncturist inserts fine needles into the patient’s skin. However, these needles have to be situated in acupuncture points for them to be effective. Licensed and experienced acupuncturists will be able to have the skills necessary to pick out the correct acupuncture points based on the patient’s individual needs.



Massage vs acupuncture

When it comes to back and neck pain, we can’t say that acupuncture is the only option. But is it the best option? There are other things you can do to relieve back and neck pain, and most of them don’t include needles. A common way to deal with body pain is massage, which can also be quite effective. The question is, which is one is better? Acupuncture or massage?


This, actually, is probably an unfair comparison. Both can be effective in relieving back and neck pain. Research on which one is more effective than the other has mixed results, and it may be safe to say that both options can be equally viable. Those who have a fear of needles, or have health conditions that may make undergoing acupuncture impossible, can experience pain relief through massage.



The acupuncture points for back and neck pain

Tram practices the balance method of acupuncture, also known as distal healing. She learned it from its creator, Richard Tan, during the last years of his teaching. Distal acupuncture never involves putting needles where the pain is. Thus, your acupuncturist will insert needles into the  dorsal aspect of your hand and along your forearm to treat back pain, and in the ankle and wrist to address neck pain.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

The Santa Barbara Herb Clinic has been providing Santa Barbara and nearby areas with holistic health care since 1986. Customers can come to the clinic for acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other treatments that fall under traditional Chinese medicine. Tram, our owner and licensed acupuncturist, has experience in various holistic and age-old therapies that can help with a number of ailments.


If you want to make an appointment with the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you can call us at 805-563-0222 or email us at Tram also offers consultations over the phone or via video call. Contact us now and begin your journey to better health.