An aching neck and shoulders can literally be, well, a pain in the neck. Working long hours in front of a computer or overexerting yourself while exercising are two common reasons for pain in your neck and shoulder areas. When left untreated, this pain can become chronic and may affect your quality of life.
“In the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), certain factors within your body can also trigger neck and shoulder pain”, says TCM physician Sue Wan from Singapore Paincare TCM Wellness.
One of the factors is poor vital energy (commonly known as qi) and blood circulation. “Being in the same position for long hours can result in strained muscles and poor qi and blood circulation in the body,” notes physician Wan. “Your neck, shoulders and arms are connected by several channels. When circulation is reduced in the neck, this affects the circulation in the arms and shoulders, causing shoulder pain.”
A second reason is stagnation of the channels around the shoulder and neck caused by external factors such as being directly exposed to the air-conditioning or a fan while sleeping. And lastly, previous injuries can also cause a blockage in your blood flow, resulting in pain in the region.
The benefits of including TCM as part of pain management
Thanks to advancements in medicine, there are now a variety of options for pain management. So why choose TCM?
Physician Wan says: “Contrary to some beliefs, TCM treatments have been shown to be effective in alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, accelerating healing and improving range of motion.”
She adds: “It’s also a good complement to other pain-relief treatments such as physiotherapy.”
Singapore Paincare TCM Wellness at Marina Square is a clinic that focuses on pain management. It takes an East-meets-West approach to pain management as the treatments were jointly developed by Western medical pain specialists and TCM physicians.
The clinic seeks to achieve positive outcomes for patients using its Yin-Yang concept – internal qi regulation (Yin) with the Western medical emphasis on external physical movement (Yang).
The wellness centre utilises modern medical diagnostic tools and technologies to ensure optimal health for its patients.
They also actively track patients’ pain levels by performing a Skin Conductance Response (SCR) test which measures the pain sensation experienced by patients by capturing real-time skin resistance and sweat response to pain.
To manage neck and shoulder pain, the wellness centre offers the following treatments:
“When it comes to reducing inflammation, acupuncture can be effective without the potential side effects associated with taking pain killers or undergoing surgical procedures,” says physician Wan.
Acupuncture treats inflammation by stimulating the pituitary gland to release more cortisol naturally. It can also release neuropeptides from the peripheral nerve endings, which are important for the inflammatory response in the body.
Singapore Paincare TCM Wellness’ signature Qi’Nergy Tuina treatment combines the best of TCM and Western medicine to improve your qi and blood flow to accelerate healing. It integrates traditional tuina massage and meridian acupoints with Western methods of myofascial release and the application of radiofrequency energy. During the treatment, the electrical heat and kinetic energy released from the radiofrequency energy, coupled with the massage, can penetrate deeper into your tissues to help you achieve relaxation while aiding the healing of injured tendons and muscles.
“Herb iontophoresis is a unique foot-soaking treatment that combines Eastern herb concoctions with the Western treatment method of iontophoresis – which delivers herb compounds through the skin by passing a gentle electric current through water to promote herb absorption,” explains physician Wan.
“This treatment serves as a first dose of medication for the patient. Depending on the patient’s condition, we will select the herbs that will be used to facilitate faster healing,” she adds.
As pain may negatively affect a person’s sleep, energy level and immunity, the wellness centre also offers three pre-selected herb treatments to address these issues.
Herb Ionto Immunity helps to support the immune system. Herb Ionto Sleep Harmony helps to relax your senses and promote quality sleep. And Herb Ionto Energy helps to boost your energy and mental focus.
“By stimulating your body circulation, cupping can help relieve inflammation, pain and tension,” explains physician Wan. “In Western physiology, cupping promotes tissue relaxation and stimulates blood flow.”
Singapore Paincare TCM Wellness at Marina Square is developed by Singapore Paincare Holdings, a publicly-listed medical group consisting of medical pain specialists and pain care general practitioners who have been treating patients with acute and chronic pain for more than 20 years. All its TCM physicians and therapists have received training at the SG Paincare Academy to better understand medical conditions and be able to offer treatments effectively.
The wellness centre also features the Singapore Paincare’s Ready-Fit Physiotherapy brand for post-treatment rehabilitation.
Visit Singapore Paincare TCM Wellness for more information.