Acupuncture is one of the treatments used by Chartered Physiotherapists as part of an integrated approach to the management of pain and inflammation. Physiotherapists base their treatments on scientific research and clinical evidence.
Our Chartered Physiotherapists have completed postgraduate qualifications in Acupuncture and are members of the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists (AACP). Treatment combines Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles with scientific evidence as a means of reducing pain and promoting healing, with the aim of enhancing physiotherapy treatments such as manual therapy, exercise and rehabilitation techniques to promote recovery and improve quality of life.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine single-use, pre-sterilised disposable needles into acupuncture points. The Chartered Physiotherapist will determine the locations of these points on the basis of an assessment. A number of needles may be used during each treatment, and these are typically left in position for approximately 20 minutes before being removed.
Trigger point acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles for longer-term unresolved muscle pain in order to aid flexibility and rehabilitation. The acupuncture needle is inserted into the affected muscle until the tissue is felt to relax, the needle is then removed.
In recent years research studies have helped to support the benefits of acupuncture treatment. For example it is accepted that acupuncture can help low back pain, tension-type headaches and the pain of osteoarthritis, for example osteoarthritis of the knee, especially when it is used in conjunction with other treatments within physiotherapy.
Acupuncture combined with Physiotherapy treatment is widely accepted within both Private Practice and the National Health Service (NHS). This is evident in the recommendation by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that acupuncture should be available as a cost-effective short-term treatment for persistent non-specific low back pain (source: NICE 2009).