Muscle and joint pain can result from many different factors including injury, poor posture, chronic misuse, exercise, physical or emotional stress, nutrient deficiency, electrolyte imbalance, and certain conditions such as arthritis. It is always important to explore possible causes of joint and muscle pain to rule out serious conditions and to determine the best course of treatment. Naturopathic medicine offers a variety of options for addressing these concerns, among them is acupuncture and cupping.
Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we can determine specific acupuncture points to address the cause of muscle or joint pain. In cases where a person experiences painful trigger points (“muscle knots”, spasms, or areas of sensitive or irritable tissue surrounding a muscle or joint), some acupuncture techniques can also be very effective. Cupping is a technique that has come to the forefront recently after the world saw Olympic athletes bearing the telltale sign of this form of treatment (think Michael Phelps’ shoulders). Cupping is a method used in TCM whereby glass or plastic suction cups are applied to areas of the body and are either allowed to stand or are moved around (i.e. sliding cupping). From a TCM standpoint, this sliding motion is thought to move blood and Qi/energy to help relieve a lack of movement that could results in muscle and joint pain. Cupping can also be used in other ways to address various health concerns including chronic headaches, menstrual cramps, frozen shoulder, injury recovery, etc. In combination, acupuncture and cupping can offer great benefits in treating and managing pain and other health concerns.