Find an acupuncturist...

Pain after acupuncture for musculo-skeletal problems?

Q:  I have arthritis  in my hip.  I had accupuncture yesterday for the firs time  which was fine.  Today the pain in the affected leg is worse than before.  Is this normal as I have more booked next week.  How long should this pain last? 

A:  There are no hard and fast rules but we would be surprised if the pain lasted for more than 48 hours. It is not at all uncommon for pain to increase slightly after a first treatment for musculo-skeletal problems, and most of us tell our patients to expect a slight increase for the next day or two. If the pain continues for longer than that at the same level of intensity then it is certainly worthwhile giving the practitioner a ring to see what they make of it. They will know your case history well and also know what they did, which will make them best placed to tell you what is going on.

Aside from the energetic effects of treatment there is also the possibility of a slight bruise deep within the tissue which can sometimes occur if the needling is slightly deeper. There may be no external signs, but these can cause nerve impingement which can last for a few days.

Most likely, though, is a treatment effect. This can either be because of the restoring of energy to an area, and equally to the effects of the treatment encouraging better structure. This can often cause a re-alignment of muscles and their relative tensions, which can result in discomfort as the body starts to find its correct position.

Post a question

If you have any questions about acupuncture, browse our archive or ask an expert.

Ask an expert

BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

Browse the facts