Katy (30y, Manchester) has had pain in her chest/sternum, collar bone, upper ribs, shoulders, in-between scapulas, and the back of the neck.

Her pain in sternum started ten years ago after she was accidently punched on the chest. It was mild at first, about two or three times a year. But it got much worse when she had her first child five years ago. She has pain not only in her sternum, ribs, below the shoulder joints, but also at the back of the neck and in between the scapulas possibly due to her protective posture. She describes her pain as throbbing, constant (24/7) and 8/10 (eight on scale from 0 to 10). She wakes up at night by the pain when she turns. She says the pain is intolerable when she breathes deeply, coughs and sneezes.

When I examined her, she expressed pain upon my finger touching (not even pushing) her collar bone, sternum and 2nd – 4th ribs. When she lifted her arms forward and upward, she couldn’t go above the line levels her shoulders. When she lifted her arms sideways, she couldn’t go above the shoulder line either. When she tried to reach her scapulas with her arms, she didn’t seem to have problems although a bit painful. She had restricted shoulder joints movements. Even one small movement causes her great pain.

All in all, she has experienced difficulties in her daily life. She has struggled with putting on cloth, holding the driving wheel, even holding her children. She has been to several doctors and therapies, has had some tests, nothing has made any difference so far. She needs to take tramadol and paracetamol daily.

On her first visit, I used battlefield acupuncture first on her left ear. Straight away, her pain went down from 8/10 to 2/10 and she lifted her arms to the point almost straight up. Then I gave her some body acupuncture and left them in for about 25 minutes. At the end of the treatment, she experienced only mild pain when she took a deep breath.

A week later, on her second visit (which was this week), she told me that she only took one painkiller for the whole week. She still experiences pain in her chest area, but nothing like throbbing, only mild pain. As the pain at the front alleviated, she felt more at the back of the neck and especially in between her scapulas. She was happy with the fact that she had kept the movement of her arms since the first treatment. She moves her arms a lot as it has been a novelty for her. In general, her pain was 2/10 at the time. I applied the similar treatment – battlefield acupuncture plus body acupuncture, only this time the focus was on the back. A moxa burner was used on her back as well. Her pain went down to 1/10 after treatment. Guess the best part? She moved her shoulders around freely and merrily, saying “This movement was virtually impossible a week ago!

What’s more rewarding than this – watching a 30-year old woman moving her shoulders around freely and merrily?

Read her testimonial here

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Acupuncture for Pain: Katy’s Story
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