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Pulsing sensation in top lip and partrial loss of feeling aftrer treatment for back ache

Q:  I had acupuncture as part of my physio session on Monday.  I willl be honest my back ache since being treated has got worse.   I've  also developed a pulsing sensation in my top lip but only on one side.  I have  also suffered a partial loss of feeling to this area. I can bite it and I can feel the pressure on my lip however it doesnt hurt whereas if I bite the other side it does hurt.

A:We can understand the increased pain in the back. As we have mentioned many times before we, in common with osteopaths and chiropractors, often warn patients with back and neck problems that their symptoms might be more exaggerated for about 24-48 hours, after which they will subside and usually improve. There are all sorts of possible explanations for this, on none of which is their agreement, but the phenomenon is well enough known to make the warning a normal part of practice.

We are a little more concerned by the strange symptom that you now have. A great deal depends on where needles were inserted, and we have to assume that nothing was placed in the face proximate to what is happening. There is a very remote possibility that a needle in the head or neck might have generated the loss of sensation, but it would be a very remote possibility and the chances are that you would have felt something while it happened.

While not wishing to be alarmist, we think that you should really get this checked by your GP pretty quickly. It may just be that the symptom's appearance is entirely coincidental and has nothing to do with the treatment itself. Rather than let people get involved in pointless arguments of the 'you did this, no I didn't' kind we always advise patients to get things checked and addressed first. This usually establishes causation pretty quickly, and with it any possible liability. The key thing is to get the symptom checked as soon as possible.

We do have, and always have had, a few misgivings about western medical acupuncture sometimes generating symptoms by working from an entirely different theoretical basis which of necessity does not take into account the energetic connections on which our work is based. There is a point used for the treatment of tennis elbow, for example, which can drastically lower blood pressure in our system, and if it is treated over-vigorously could have serious consequences in some patients. However, without knowing which points were used it is difficult to say, and even then we are hard pressed to think what might have been needled which could cause this to happen.

Of course, the other person you could contact is the physio him or herself. We are completely confident that they will respond to your problem and can work work with you to find out what has happened, with the obvious advantage that they know what they have been needling and any possible neurophysiological causes it may have.

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