Acupuncture For Shoulder Pain

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Acupuncture

Shoulder pain can really mess up your daily life. But, there’s good news. Acupuncture could help ease that pain. At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, Ryoko Takayama and her team offer this old but effective method to tackle shoulder problems.

Studies show acupuncture works well for shoulder issues. It offers hope where other methods might not work as well. Let’s look into how this ancient practice can make a difference..

Key Takeaways

  • Acupuncture at Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, led by Ryoko Takayama, effectively reduces shoulder pain through targeting specific body points.
  • Studies and research support acupuncture’s ability to relieve chronic discomfort and improve mobility without relying solely on medications.
  • Techniques like manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture, trigger point acupuncture, and dry needling are used to treat various aspects of shoulder pain including muscle tension and inflammation.
  • Proper evaluation through outcome measures such as pain intensity and shoulder function is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for shoulder issues.
  • For those with rotator cuff tears or chronic shoulder conditions, combining traditional Chinese medicine with modern therapy techniques can offer significant improvements in health and quality of life.

Understanding Acupuncture Treatment

A serene acupuncture clinic with calming decor and tranquil ambiance.

At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, we use acupuncture to help with shoulder pain. Ryoko Takayama and our team focus on points that cause discomfort. This method can ease pain even if we don’t fully understand how it works.

Our treatments are safe and not too invasive. If you have shoulder issues, it’s important to find a good acupuncturist. We’re experienced and tailor our treatments to meet your needs.

Studies support what we do – they show that the right acupuncture can make life better for people with chronic conditions like rotator cuff problems or osteoarthritis [Family Wellness Acupuncture](

Application of Acupuncture for Chronic Shoulder Pain

Acupuncture for shoulder pain

Acupuncture for chronic shoulder pain targets local and distal points to alleviate discomfort. Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, led by Ryoko Takayama, offers specialized interventions for chronic shoulder pain – discover more at

Local Points

We often suggest acupuncture for easing shoulder pain. It involves placing thin needles at specific body points to promote healing and reduce discomfort.

  • Jianjing (GB21): Situated at the shoulder’s peak, halfway between the neck and shoulder joint. Activating this point can ease muscle tension and soreness around the shoulders.
  • Jianliao (SJ14): Found where your arm connects with your shoulder blade on the backside. This spot is key for lessening inflammation and pain in cases of rotator cuff damage.
  • Jianzhen (SI9): Located by extending your arm sideways, right above the armpit’s back. Ideal for targeting deep shoulder pain and boosting movement range.
  • Jiannao (SI10): Positioned just above SI9, near your lifted arm’s top edge of the shoulder blade. Focusing here can alleviate long-standing aches and improve joint function.

Distal Points

Acupuncture tackles chronic shoulder pain by focusing on distal points, which are areas far from the actual pain. Here’s how we do it:

  • Feet and Hands – These spots may not be near the shoulder, but in traditional Chinese medicine, they’re key for energy flow. Stimulating these points can help ease shoulder discomfort.
  • Lower Leg – Even though it might sound odd, targeting certain parts of the lower leg can reduce pain and boost mobility in the shoulder.
  • Forearm Points – Similar to feet and hands, specific forearm areas are linked energetically to the shoulder. We use these points to lessen pain.
  • Near Elbows and Knees – Stimulating areas close to elbows and knees can improve joint function overall, including in the shoulder.

Efficacy of Acupuncture in Treating Shoulder Pain

A person receiving acupuncture treatment with good posture in a healthcare setting.

Research shows acupuncture helps with shoulder pain. At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, Ryoko Takayama and our team use it to reduce chronic discomfort. Patients often feel less pain and move better after treatment.

This method improves life quality without always needing medicine.

Controlled trials and systematic reviews back up acupuncture’s effectiveness for shoulder issues. These studies compare it to placebos, physical therapy, and NSAIDs. Results usually favor acupuncture, not just easing pain but also improving function and mobility.

For help with shoulder pain through acupuncture, visit us at Family Wellness Acupuncture.

Role of Acupuncture in Managing Rotator Cuff Tears

Acupuncture for shoulder and rotator cuff pain

Acupuncture has been utilized in managing rotator cuff tears and shoulder pain, compared to physiotherapy, injections, and oral anti-inflammatory therapy. Also, a randomized trial found that acupuncture showed positive effects in treating rotator cuff tendinitis when compared to a placebo needle.

These findings indicate the potential of acupuncture as an alternative therapeutic approach for managing rotator cuff tears.

The role of acupuncture in managing rotator cuff tears is apparent from its comparison with conventional treatments such as physiotherapy and oral anti-inflammatory therapy. Additionally, research supporting its efficacy over a placebo needle further highlights its potential impact on alleviating symptoms associated with rotator cuff injuries.

Types of Acupuncture Interventions for Shoulder Pain

Acupuncture interventions for shoulder pain aim to provide relief and promote healing through various techniques.

  • Manual acupuncture involves the precise insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate natural healing responses.
  • Electroacupuncture incorporates a mild electrical current applied to the needles for enhanced stimulation and pain relief.
  • Trigger point acupuncture targets specific knots or trigger points in the muscles to release tension and alleviate pain.
  • Dry needling focuses on stimulating myofascial trigger points using thin needles to reduce muscle pain and improve function.

Outcome Measures in Acupuncture Treatment for Shoulder Pain

After determining the types of acupuncture interventions suitable for shoulder pain, it’s crucial to understand the outcome measures in assessing its effectiveness. Primary outcome measures typically revolve around pain intensity, often assessed through visual analogue scale (VAS) or numeric rating scale (NRS).

Secondary outcome measures extend to areas such as shoulder function and health-related quality of life. Furthermore, tracking adverse events is equally important to ensure safety throughout the treatment process.

The focus on these specific outcomes ensures a comprehensive evaluation of how acupuncture impacts not only pain but also overall well-being and functionality. This broader perspective provides valuable insights into the holistic effects of acupuncture treatment on shoulder pain management.

Analysis of Acupuncture Effectiveness for Shoulder Pain

We evaluated the acupuncture effectiveness for shoulder pain through data collection and evidence quality evaluation. Discover more about how it can help manage chronic shoulder pain.

Data Collection

We collected data from 31 subjects who were randomly assigned to one of three different treatment groups. Our data collection and analysis involved a thorough assessment of the risk of bias, heterogeneity, and publication bias.

Additionally, the study protocol for our systematic review and meta-analysis on the use of acupuncture for shoulder conditions was published in 2022.

During this process, we focused on evaluating various measures related to the efficacy and overall impact of acupuncture in treating shoulder pain with an emphasis on providing clear insights into its potential benefits for those seeking alternative or complementary treatments.

Evidence Quality Evaluation

We assessed the quality of evidence using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Our analysis included sensitivity analyses to ensure robustness. We registered our study protocol on PROSPERO with registration number CRD42021249625, and we conducted a thorough search strategy across various databases without any language restrictions.

The study was carried out at the VA Medical Center of Philadelphia, affirming our commitment to comprehensive research.

We rigorously evaluated data collection and statistical analysis to provide reliable results. Our intention-to-treat analysis and per-protocol analysis techniques were employed, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of the acupuncture effectiveness for shoulder pain.

Services Offered in Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, we offer a range of acupuncture services aimed at providing relief for shoulder pain and promoting overall well-being. Our services include:

  1. Family Wellness Acupuncture provides personalized assessment and treatment plans tailored to each individual’s specific shoulder pain needs.
  2. We offer traditional acupuncture techniques, such as manual needling and electroacupuncture, to target the root cause of shoulder pain and promote healing.
  3. Our experienced acupuncturist, Ryoko Takayama, specializes in auricular acupuncture, a technique that focuses on specific points on the ear to alleviate shoulder pain and associated symptoms.
  4. At Family Wellness Acupuncture, we provide complementary therapies like transcutaneous electrical stimulation and ultrasound treatment to enhance the effectiveness of acupuncture for shoulder pain relief.

Discussion on the Use of Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for shoulder pain, with studies revealing its potential in reducing pain and enhancing function. Although the precise mechanism is not entirely clear, it is believed that acupuncture stimulates the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals within the body.

This safe and minimally invasive option has garnered support from extensive research and clinical evidence, underlining its credibility as a beneficial approach for individuals seeking relief from shoulder discomfort.

Furthermore, it’s crucial for patients to seek out qualified and experienced acupuncturists to ensure optimal outcomes. With this understanding, individuals dealing with shoulder pain can consider acupuncture as a viable complementary therapy in their pursuit of alleviating discomfort and improving daily function.


Consider embracing acupuncture for shoulder pain and experience its effective relief. Connect with us for a transformative journey towards holistic well-being. Call (949) 836-2857 or visit to embark on your health story’s new chapter, guided by our dedicated care.

For any questions about acupuncture, reach out via and prioritize your well-being today!


1. What is acupuncture good for when it comes to shoulder pain?

Acupuncture works wonders for easing shoulder pain, especially from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, tendinopathy, and adhesive capsulitis—also known as frozen shoulder.

2. How does acupuncture help with different types of shoulder issues?

Through targeting specific points around the glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints among others, acupuncture can reduce inflammation and improve mobility in cases of rotator cuff disease and subacromial impingement.

3. Can you tell if acupuncture treatment for shoulder pain really works?

Yes! Various clinical trials—including randomized controlled trials noted by sources like Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials—show that patients often see improvements in their Shoulder Pain and Disability Index scores after undergoing acupuncture treatments.

4. Is there any proof supporting the relief experienced from acupuncture?

Certainly! Studies have used tools like ultrasound therapy, diagnostic imaging, and Constant-Murley Score evaluations to document tangible benefits from this complementary treatment approach.

5. What should I look out for when choosing acupuncture as a solution for my shoulder pain?

Look for a licensed practitioner who follows informed consent guidelines; experience with treating your specific condition can be a plus. Ensure they understand how to safely apply techniques related to your diagnosis—involving the supraspinatus muscle or teres minor muscle, etc.—to prevent major trauma.

6. Are there alternative therapies recommended alongside acupuncture for optimal results?

Indeed! Combining exercise therapy—with attention on activities of daily living—or even massage could enhance outcomes further by promoting strength and flexibility around affected areas.



Leave a Reply