How Acupuncture Can Offer Relief From Shoulder Pain

How acupuncture can offer relief from shoulder pain

If you’re struggling with shoulder pain, you’re not alone. Our shoulders are complex joints essential for so many everyday tasks, so when something goes wrong, it can be incredibly disruptive. Whether the culprit is a specific diagnosis like shoulder impingement or frozen shoulder, or simply a nagging ache that frustrates your day,  living with shoulder pain is no fun.

What’s Causing Your Shoulder Trouble?

Let’s break down some of the most common reasons behind shoulder pain:

  • Shoulder Impingement: This occurs when the space around your rotator cuff narrows, squeezing or pinching a tendon. Overuse, past injuries, or simple wear and tear can all be factors.
  • Frozen Shoulder: The exact cause remains a bit of a mystery, but this condition leads to significant pain, stiffness, and a frustratingly limited range of motion. The sooner you get in for treatment for this, the better your chances are for a quick recovery.
  • Tendinitis & Bursitis: These common culprits often go hand-in-hand with other shoulder problems. Tendinitis refers to the inflammation of the tendons, which are the tough cords attaching muscles to bone. Repetitive motions, overuse injuries, or sudden strain can irritate and damage tendons, leading to localized pain and tenderness. Bursitis involves the inflammation of the bursae, the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion your joints. When a bursa becomes irritated, it swells with excess fluid, causing pain, stiffness and potentially limiting your shoulder’s movement.
  • Arthritis: Degenerative changes in the shoulder joint, such as osteoarthritis, contribute to pain and hinder movement.

Discomfort That Gets in the Way

Any type of shoulder pain can significantly interfere with your life. Simple activities like getting dressed (trying to pull a shirt over your head or fasten buttons), reaching for items on a high shelf, or carrying groceries can turn into painful ordeals. Driving becomes uncomfortable, making errands a chore. Even finding a comfortable sleeping position can be a nightly struggle. Left unaddressed, shoulder pain can seriously impact your quality of life. It may limit your participation in the activities you enjoy, whether it’s playing a round of golf, picking up your grandkids, or simply enjoying a walk along the beach here in beautiful Mount Eliza.

Acupuncture: Going Beyond Temporary Fixes

While it’s tempting to rely on over-the-counter painkillers, ice, or stretches for a quick fix, these solutions often provide only short-term relief. Painkillers might temporarily mask the pain, but they don’t address the root cause of your discomfort. Stretching can be helpful, but it’s effects are often limited, especially if there’s underlying inflammation or a more complex issue at play.

If you’re searching for a longer lasting solution, consider acupuncture. This time-tested practice involves inserting hair-thin, sterile needles into specific points on your body to promote healing and pain relief. Acupuncture goes beyond superficial fixes, working to stimulate your body’s natural healing processes and potentially address the underlying causes of your shoulder pain.

How Acupuncture Helps with Shoulder Pain

  • Natural Pain Relief: Acupuncture stimulates the release of your body’s own painkillers (endorphins) and can alter how your brain processes pain signals.
  • Improved Blood Flow: Increased circulation to the injured area helps deliver healing nutrients and reduce inflammation.
  • Greater Range of Motion: Acupuncture helps loosen tight muscles and tendons, restoring flexibility and range of movement to your shoulder.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Acupuncture has anti-inflammatory effects, which are crucial in managing many shoulder conditions.

Supporting Your Shoulder Health

Acupuncture doesn’t just mask the symptoms; it works to address the underlying causes of your shoulder discomfort. Regular sessions may even play a role in preventing future flare-ups and contribute to overall joint health in the longer term.

Natural Support: Supplements to Consider

While acupuncture is a powerful tool, combining it with certain natural supplements can give your healing process an extra boost. Before starting any supplement, always consult with your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional. Here are a few potentially helpful options:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish oil (and plant based versions from algae), these have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and swelling in the shoulder.
  • Glucosamine & Chondroitin: These substances occur naturally in healthy joints. Supplementing with them may help rebuild cartilage and improve joint lubrication.
  • Turmeric (Curcumin): Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, turmeric can be enjoyed in foods or taken as a supplement.


Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain in Mount Eliza

If you’re ready to explore a natural and holistic approach to shoulder pain relief, Lachlan McDonald Chinese Medicine in Mount Eliza is here to help. Take the first step towards a pain-free life. Feel free to contact me on 03 8774 5588 or at to learn more about acupuncture and how it can help relieve your stiff and sore shoulders.  Alternatively, you can book an acupuncture appointment online.



Abdelkefi I, Ben Abdelghani K, Kassab S, et al. AB0956 Acupuncture Therapy for Shoulder Pain: A Study of 30 Cases.