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acupuncture causing nerve pain/damage?
Hello,

I've been getting acupuncture to treat my lower back pain. At my last treatment the doctor placed a needles at several locations on my legs and back.

The needle behind my right knee caused pain upon insertion and a lot of pain when he manipulated it. He took the needle out and replaced it and it appeared to be fine. Also the needle in my right ankle caused discomfort.

Shortly after the treatment I experianced pain at both sites and some odd sensations in my right foot and calf (warmth and numbness). The doctor (who is an MD as well as an acupuncturist)said it was nothing to be concerned about.

Has anyone had acupuncture cause nerve damage in such a way? The literature says it can cause "nerve damage" but no specifics are mentioned as to symptoms or location of needles.

Anyone experience something similar?

thanks
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Wow, I wonder what kind of healer would intentionally want to harm you that way. A very devaint person indeed?

I thank God that I don't have problems with acupuncture as bad as the ones I read here. But I did have some issues after going through the electro-acupuncture.

I am a dancer. It was 2 years, ago, when I twisted my lower back doing a movement without sufficent warm up myself. I went for a centre which provided multiple treatments. It started with massages and warm infra-red lighting which didn't help me alleviate the stiffness on the right side of my lower back after a few treatments.

Then the therapist tried acupuncture. I did feel a little pain and tingling until a few days after, which the therapist had told me would be normal, since I've had needles being pricked into me. He was very careful with the placement of the needles and I felt some temporary relief.

However, as my back is still stiff during the 3rd sessions of acupunture, the therapist applied electric stimulation to the acupuncture. It has a much more intense effect on relaxing my muscles. However, I wasn't particularly keen on it, as I fear there may be side effects to my nerves - the location of the needles were very close to my spine. The first round went ok, but there seem to be still a little left, so I went back for a second round.

I expected just a mild and quick one, but he set the current on pretty strong, and left me alone for several minutes. I was starting to feel like it wasn't right, and I wanted to call out to him, but I didn't dare to move a muscle for fear of doing damage.

So finally, when he came back, I knew my muscles were overly loose on the right side, but I just hoped that it will go back to normal after some time.

Well, my back didn't really recover. Only when I went back to my orthopedic specialist, he gave me some anti-inflammatory medication as well as medicated plasters that it recovered in just a few days.

I can't believe I wasted all that money - as I generally trust TCM (herbal remedies) that had improved my quality of life tremendously, but acupuncture is new to me.

I wasn't aware of its lasting effects until late last year, when I successfully realigned my posture (I had a long standing problem of anterior pelvic tilt) that something didn't feel right. The whole realignment exercise had awakened some dormant muscles and a well aligned posture naturally requires greater core strength. But it became apparent that my back felt imbalanced. My left side is stronger than my right side.

At first, I may had attributed it to one-sided movement habits. But when I tried to voluntarily contract some muslces in my right side, it didn't respond accordingly. My muscles felt weak and almost non-responsive!

Over the next few months, my left side became stiffer and stiffer, and I even seem to be developing a scoliosis. I tried various exercises to strengthen my right back, but some muscles just don't fire and is significantly weaker - can even be seen and touched.

The cramp on my left became so uncomfortable that I had to focus on its relief first. My teacher had taught me to "ask my body" to heal itself, to relax and observe. After various visualisation techniques I've tried for myself, this was the most effective. By about June, the cramp was almost fully relieved. So I switched to working on my right side - reconnecting sensations and strengthening the muscles.

When I mentally scan my right back muscles, I was quite frightened to find that several muscles have shrunk in mass and some lacks sensation. It also remains in a state of being "permanently lengthened".
But I kept an optimistic mind and believe that my body can heal itself.

So I started work, I sometimes "ask my body" to do it, but I will also imagine my nerves connecting, mentally locate each muscle and feel it tingle, try to identify mirror muscles on the other side.

I even tried to mentally locate the positions of the inserted needless, and when I simulate nerve firing in my mind, those "needle holes" tingle, as if the holes are still there, un-repaired.

I tried various things like, mentally reversing the procedure/removing the "inserted" needles, voluntary contraction (which is possible now that I can feel the muscles), movement exercises, and sometimes with an exercise band, imagine restoring healthy bloodflow into my muscles and my muscles being re-inflated to a normal mass, and now I'm trying to imagine regeneration of the injured nerves.

It was a long and scary process, but I guess I've made alot of progress from where I started. My right side feel much stronger now and I can activate those dormant muscles, increase their elasticity and ability to contract, though there is still some work to do to restore it to the same strength as my left side.

Throughout my own healing process, there have been strange sensations like spasm, flowing currents and even strange dreams as my spine realigned and the body reactivates and repairs itself. I can still feel a little bit of the "needle-hole tingling" when my nerves fire. But I'd like to think that I am close to full recovery.

I hope that those of you whom had any such complications to not give up and do something about it. Most importantly, believe that your body can heal. As for acupunture, I guess I'll pass.
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hello,
i have also experience the same situation of pain after acupuncture, except mine is my left arm. The acupunturist inserted the needle and it hurted but she told me the pain will go away just wait alittle. I thought she knew more so I left it alone, afterwards my left arm was really bothering me, I e-mailed her and she told me it will go away. It's been a several weeks and I realized my left arm has no strength to pick up or hold light weighted things. I know you posted this in 2009 but I was wondering if you found any solutions?
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Hi, I know my post above you is very long, but I actually shared about how I attempted to recover from my muscle weakness after I had treatment on my lower back.

Perhaps, you would want to consult a neurologist or physiotherapist to help you with rehabilitation.

But I'm just a freelance dance practitioner, and I've been doing self-healing, mostly by using mental imagery, voluntary muscle contraction and body-talk.

I've regained, perhaps 80% of my muscle strength and some elasticity after a few months of practice - it previously felt athrophied and non-responsive. If you are interested, I wont mind sharing some techniques of what I do. Just hope it helps.
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i had the same experience but not as severe. my CHINESE doctor is a retired M.D./usa ECT. helped me a lot then things went bad  to worse. yes that crawly thing happened to me two areas but didnt last.i didnt come with the lower leg muscles hurting so bad when laying down i couldnt sleep. started out as stiff feeling not right. needles had been put in both legs on the ouside calf. after a 6 weeks both whole legs are affected, nerve pain down the sides, feet going cold then almost warm.  i went because of extreme stiffness in my body and lower back spasam when walking. and lower butt pain when sitting very long. pirformus pain has been aproblem off and on for 2 years. this pain and numbness when lying down is scary, never had it like this and the calf area is the most affected area. my leg skin has become very tender. massage therepst  or chiropractor hasnt helped ..
afraid to do acupunture again . the 5th time went wrong to my mind
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In April 2013, I had a Darkness Cleansing Ritual acupuncture done.  This really helped with my temperament, irritability, and mood.  However, I have been having foot pain (whole foot including up to ankle) since that session when need was placed in the instep area of left foot.  When it was inserted, it did hurt, but I am pretty tolerant of pain.  

During May's session, it still hurt, and my acupuncturist performed a Heart Cleaning Ritual to further flush out toxins, etc. on that foot.  

Now, it is early June, and it still hurts when I move the foot and walk.  I am not sure what has happened.   I will need to address this issue with her again when I go in a couple weeks.  
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I had acupuncture in my hands three weeks ago... for lower back pain... I wake up all during the night with my hands feeling like they are asleep... I cant type well any more it hurts to write and OK I cant hold the tweezers to pluck my eyebrows... it is unreal...I have gone back to see the acupuncturist and he says I need 11 more visits that would cost six hundred dollars.. what ever
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I had acupuncture in my hands three weeks ago... for lower back pain... I wake up all during the night with my hands feeling like they are asleep... I cant type well any more it hurts to write and OK I cant hold the tweezers to pluck my eyebrows... it is unreal...I have gone back to see the acupuncturist and he says I need 11 more visits that would cost six hundred dollars.. sounds a lot like what I am going through
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Betty did you get better? if so, how/how long did it take? I'm having a terrible situation which began like yours and has worsened quickly. Thank you
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I have had burning stabbing tingling pain in my big toe and foot for 1 1/2 years, neurologist report ok, xray mri etc all fine. Finally went to a chiropractor who said my lower spine was narrow and not letting the nerve pass thru, perhaps pressing and causing the pain in my foot. Started chiropractor and had one acupuncture treatment. After reading MONTOS I agree! My big toe is feeling worse - I don't want to go back for another treatment, the last thing I need is any nerve damage! It's been 3 days and I'm hoping the pain will subside. I'll try the St. John Worts. Thanks all!! Not sure what to do now...keep up with the chiropractor? He thinks he might help with the foot pain.
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Oh my god I am having problems all over the left side of my body. Like you I had one treatment done for sinus, digestion, and stress problems. The practitioner left the room explaining she was "just around the corner" and if I needed her to holler. Well I began experiencing intense pain and I called and called and she never came... I laid there like that for a good 15 minutes. The most pain was coming from a point in my left calf and the left side of my body is completely messed up, mostly my leg. I cannot walk for more than hour without feeling like I have to pass out. My left leg twitches randomly, feels very stiff and rigid, and hurts like hell. My left arm experiences pain but less intensely as does the left side of my chest and my shoulder. I am so freaked out. I am an 18 year old athlete that cannot be on my feet for more than hour. The practitioner was so arrogant with me and has hung up on me twice, ignored two of my voicemails. And I went in to retrieve my medical records and she literally shoved me out the door. I had to call the police to get the information that I need to work with another doctor to get better. I explained that to her and yet she refused... I had to call the police to get my records. I am meeting with another acupuncture doctor tomorrow to find out what is going on but I do not have a good feeling about any of this. I have read about acupuncture causing nerve damage and I believe that is what happened to me. I am completely devastated. I also believe what happened to me is very rare and acupuncture is still extremely beneficial but be careful who you go to. I would also recommend being with a friend just in case you are left in a helpless position like I was. She did not attend a four year acupuncture school, she has a masters in naturopathy and oriental medicine, a phd in nutrition, but she is licensed in acupuncture. She also dabbles in everything from nutrition, hydro-colon therapy, to reiki (which is a total scam because she has to be the least spiritual person I know). So beware of people like her. Go to someone who is very reputable and does JUST acupuncture.
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I get acupuncture occasionally and sometimes when the doctor put the needles into my body it hurt, I told her immediately and she pulled the needle back a bit. I did get a strange pain at the time, but was is short lived.

Many years ago I got a few sessions of acupuncture and I noticed dark liver spots where the needles were inserted. I thought it was from the needles and a year later another acupuncturist confirmed this, and said it was from bad needles.
  
paul
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Well, montos, this is a very interesting topic, for me.

Over 20 years ago, I visited the acupuncture clinic of The British School Acupuncture, in London, UK.  I went there because I have had a tendency to being anxious, from very early on , in my life, having first noticed it as a teenager.  I was in my early 20s when I visited the clinic.

During the treatments, there were occasions of severe pain in particular points, but I remember vividly that, on one occasion, the head teacher came to check the work done on me and he inserted a needle on the left side of my lumbar spine with a smack motion, and it hurt so much that I remember arching back and screaming with pain.

Dr Lau's response was to walk walk up to where I could see him and say "Typical artist, overemotional." And walked away, leaving me there, needle in, weeping with pain.  Now, I must add that I have a relatively high pain threshold…

Where my experiences at that clinic fit into this discussion is:
for all these years, my baihui is still painful to the touch.  So is a point just behind my heart, on the left side, and more importantly, that lumbar spine poist has remained sore ever since.  Furthermore, 9 years ago I developed an herniated disc, with nerve root compression, at precisely the point where that needle was inserted .  The condition was so advanced that I was immediately admitted into neurosurgery ward for surgery, without it even being fully discussed with me.  

Coincidence?…   I have had acupuncture treatments since, I must add.  And it took some leaps of trust for that to occur without discussing those earlier experiences with the new practitioners, with whom I have experienced bearable amounts of expected sensations, including some pain, which was in no way cause for alarm.

It remains unexplained, why the areas where a lot of brutal pain was experienced at the hands of Dr Lau, continue to be so sore, after 20 years.  There was no such soreness before.  I have so far felt it is too delicate a subject to bring up to even my most trusted acupuncture teacher.

Thank you for posting.
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Apologies,
This thread appeared in my mailbox, again, today, and I replied without realising that I had already placed a comment here, last year.

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I'm not sure if I posted my update. I got a treatment for hip pain at a school of acupuncture and got a bad reaction (electricity like symptoms, pins and needles, burning in both my legs, spasms) I'm happy to report that after 8 months most of the symptoms have subsided. Once in a while I'd get mild spasms but I'm not sure if this is related to the treatment or is something else. An experienced acupuncturist told me to wait and not do any acupuncture until the symptoms were gone. Not feeling like going back anyways.
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yes I have, still do and its been 4 years - prickly, burning sensations from head to toe,  top of head has very sore spot to the touch where he had inserted acupuncture needles in - never gone away - seen neurologist, primary, dermatologist.  Allergist did help some I now put heavy moisturizing cream all over and seems to help this but can't really do much for the scalp or pain on top of head.
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I just remember that at the beginning, right after I got the acupuncture treatment that damaged my nerves, a friend of mine who is a homeopath suggested I try Hypericum Perforatum wich is a remedy specificaly for the treatment for nerve damage. I took it for a couple of months and I noticed some improvements, however when the experienced acupuncturist told me that it was a matter of time, I just stopped taking it and after 8 months most of the symptoms were gone.
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Hi all,

I am so sorry to hear about all the horrifying side effects you all were experiencing.

3 years on after my treatment and after 2 years of attempted self healing, I cannot say yet that I can fully recover from the damage that was done to my back muscles, but I wont give up and I believe that eventually it will heal.

3 years ago, I accidentally twisted my lower back. Not very serious, but since the pain did not subside after a few weeks, my therapist tried acupuncture and electro-acupuncture on me. The procedure left some muscles on my right side numb, non functional, and emanates pain and electric shock sensations when used.

As I work more with myself, my body gradually uncovers the truth behind the damages that was done, from where the source or pain and sensitivity come from. As it begins to open up the damage, I believe that it is slowly healing. It wasn't easy as it was a painful process, both physically and emotionally.

Being a dancer/dance teacher, I cannot give up on myself and my body and will continue healing my body until it is fully recovered. I believe it can. Reading your stories, I know it can be much worse.

But look inside yourself, learn to heal yourself. I hope that you will all find healing from your pain too...
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I started acupuncture for some back problems of an annular tear and slight herniation. He immediately put me on the 3 day a week plan with herbal tea. I did this for three weeks and felt great. He used the electric treatment every time on lumbar needles. Sometimes when he would spin them in my problem areas they would hurt so bad and he would tell me it's normal and there are blockages and he has to get to them so deal with pain. He would joke about his patients cussing but it was necessary. Then I stopped going so much when I spent more than my own mortgage in one month and returned with some back flare ups. The acupuncturist scolded me for not continuing to come for 3 visits per week and said "let me fix you". He used deep needling on at least 5 in my back and said it had to hurt for him to get to the right level. It was agony. Then used the eclectic machine for the lumbar needles for about 25 mins. That night I was in worst pain of my life! A 12 on the pain scale to say the least. I was begging my husband to take me to ER! I was throwing myself on the bed to the floor crawling in sheer agony trying to escape the pain. I had sever deep nerve pain, burning, stabbing and sharp shooting pains that I couldn't even walk. All through my butt on both sides. The pain was so bad I couldn't control my body temperature. Neither ice nor heat helped and both hurt. I couldn't get away from the pain and this happened for the next 3 nights. Luckily I got an appt with my spine dr prescribed gabapentin for nerve pain until my MRI results come back. That has helped bit not cured me, I am unable to drive or go to work. I know this is from acupuncture bc I've never had this problem before then. Does anybody know what is going on? At first I thought it was sciatica but tonight I have nerve pains going up my back. I'm on day 8 and the pain at night is excruciating and I'm completely disabled during the day! I have 4 children a successful business, a husband that need me and employees that need me!!!!
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I am one of those adversely affected by acupuncture. My leg pains were on the improve when I went to seek treatment with acupuncture after the first session I complained of heightened pain but was told that , that was a good sign since such reactions precede positive results. after the second and the third sessions I had had enough and still days after the third session my pain was at its maximum worse than the peaks I experienced before.
Again I was not told of the risks and no reading materials were given nor waiver of liability documents. I do believe that practitioners should screen their patients just as surgeons before embarking on treatment and decide whether they are good candidates with high degree of success.
when I went into acupuncture I never thought not one in a million that it had the power to make me worse based on success stories by those who swore by it!! and now after I googled the acupunctures bad effects I am astonished by the number of people who share my bad experience.  
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Yes I just recently went to get poked by a good acupuncturist and she put some in my foot and others elsewhere on my body. I felt a twinge and my leg jerked uncontrollably when she took it out. that day I felt pain in the area near my heel. I had trouble bending my foot to far back when walking. I have returned to her since then and she let me know it was inflammation also. The pain is really pretty bad. I cant stretch my calf at all unless I bend my knee first. It has been about three weeks since it started and it seems to be staying at the same intense level of pain. Nothing makes it better or go away for me. I suppose it is just a waiting game and pampering of the foot. I still go to her because it has helped with my back and fibromyalgia pains. Good luck !
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I have had 5 acupuncture treatments for tennis elbow. After the 3rd treatment, my ulnar nerve started to bother me.  I have had tingling in my elbow and in my hand near my little finger.  It has been quite painful in the week and a half since it first started to bother me.  Has anyone had this problem and has it gotten better with time?
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On one of a few sessions I experienced soreness and a bump in my feet just behind my ankles where the needle was put in.  I casually mentioned this on the next visit, not wanting to be a complainer.  I thought the response would be that this was normal.  She seemed surprised and concerned.  I stopped going after that session.  That was 2 years ago.  Now I am having a lot of problems in the same area with swelling and pain when I run or walk.  Have to ice all the time.  Related?  I would skip the acupuncture next time.  Not worth taking the chance.  Only ones on this thread that are pro acupuncture are the acupuncturist.  How about I stick needles in you?
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I did not jump off the table but It was very painfull, after 4 treatment I have more pain in my right arm and elbow, than in my knees.Cannot drive for a long period of time, cannot even lift a jug of milk, cannot lift my grandson. The treatment in my arm was suppose to heal my knee injury NOT give me a pain in my right arm.Very Very Angry right now , it's 4weeks.I will never have accupuncture again.
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I did not jump off the table but It was very painfull, after 4 treatment I have more pain in my right arm and elbow, than in my knees.Cannot drive for a long period of time, cannot even lift a jug of milk, cannot lift my grandson. The treatment in my arm was suppose to heal my knee injury NOT give me a pain in my right arm.Very Very Angry right now , it's 4weeks.I will never have accupuncture again.
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I went to a pain specialist for pain shots.  Tried two with no improvement.  He recommended acupuncture.  One needle, out of 21, hurt going in both times.  My lower right side is where he put in the needle.  I still have aces in that one spot.  All other needles didn't hurt but that one.  Still in pain from both my back issues and now that one spot.  A nagging type pain.  Not going back.
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Hi . I have been havipng acupuncture treatments for about a week(4 treatments). I'm getting it for pain in my arm and numbness in my hand,supposedly from carpal tunnel. Since the treatments,my pain has gotten better but I have aggravating numbness and tingling in my fingertips . When the chiropractor puts the needles in my hands it's sometimes painful,and today a painful spasm shot into one finger,and it got extremely tingly and numb. She said that was good,if I could stand it! But I couldn't so she took it out. I'm getting worried,too.that this numbness is permanent. My instinct tells me not to continue,but everyone else thinks I should give it more time.
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Yes, I have had two different doctors leave needles in me!  My husband found one in my head and it had been there for a bout 3 hours!  I still did not learn my lesson since I had never heard anything negative about acupuncture.  I had more treatments for toxins and she put needles in my wrist and middle arm their was a draft in the room and I got chilled and after 3 months I still feel an arthritis like burning stabling feeling in my hands that began right after the treatment.  I had no problem at all like this before the needles.  I wish I had never gone to see any acupuncture doctors! ITs sad that there is not more information concerning the dangers of acupuncture.  It dangerous!  I pray this irritating weakness and burning stabbing pain goes away someday soon!
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Yes, I have had two different doctors leave needles in me!  My husband found one in my head and it had been there for a bout 3 hours!  I still did not learn my lesson and I had more treatments for my lungs and she put needles in my wrist and middle arm and after 3 months I still feel an arthritis like burning stabling feeling in my hands that began right after the treatment.  I had no problem like this before the needles.  I wish I had never gone to see any acupuncture doctors! ITs sad that there is not more information concerning the dangers of acupuncture.  It dangerous!  I pray this irritating stabbing pain goes away someday soon!
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To all those people who have gone through or are going through peripheral nerve injury as a result of acupuncture... It can happen even though most acupuncturists dont want to admit it. It CAN happen and is a serious side effect. I am still suffering 3 months later as a result. Have started IV B complex and alpha lipoic acid to help heal my nerves faster. People didnt believe me that it was from acupuncture but it is and I DO NOT have an underlying issue. I am and was a healthy 32 year old young mom and went to an acupuncturist who obviously went too deep and didnt know that they were doing. This is real and a serious side effect that ALL acupuncturists should be wary of and warn their patients of.

"When we work on points along meridians that run just over nerve structures, we must familiarize ourselves with these structures and always bear in mind the locations and depths of nearby nerves when preparing to insert needles. Excessive depth of needling is the major cause of peripheral nerve damage, so if you are absolutely sure of the depth of the nerve trunk or branch, check before you treat. Its better to place a needle slightly too shallow than too deep"
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I am very sorry yo hear other people have suffered from receiving acupuncture. I had one acupuncture treatment a couple of weeks ago for lower back pain, this has left me with joint pain and a shuddering sensation throughout my body. As you can imagine feel very depressed because of this and I still have lower back pain. I was not told it will go away in time.
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I had 2 sessions of Chinese ACUPRESSURE 12 months ago.  When I walked out after the second (extremely painful) treatment I was unable to walk straight or turn left. The symptoms have worsened over the year and now, after an xray and MRI of my head, I am being treated for brain injury. Memory, mobility and speech have all suffered. I hope you are fully recovered  - I just want to make people aware that acupressure can go very wrong sometimes.
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Hi, you sound very knowledgeable so thought I'd ask you a question to see if you can advise me in some way. On October 1st, I was involved in a road traffic accident on a motorway, where two cars hit into the rear of my car. I felt immediate lower back pain and went to hospital, which they said I had trauma and bruising in my pelvis area. Exactly a week after the accident, my lower back on the left side, buttock and leg went into a massive spasm, with severe sciatica pain down my leg (which I'd never had before). I took anti-inflammatory and used ice all night, had a taxi to take me to hospital the following morning. I couldn't bend forward, even cleaning my teeth was very uncomfortable, dressing myself took a long time etc. Anyway, I was prescribed muscle relaxant and strong pain killers, also been having physio. The physio also does western form of acupuncture. He says my sacro-illiac joint is extremely tight on both sides, and uses his elbows to manipulate the area - extremely painful to say the least. Then he finishes treatment by using acupuncture. The first treatment I felt immediate relief, but then he was on holiday for a week. I tried The Bowen Technique not to postpone my recovery, which I woke the following day totally pain free, but pain started to return following days. Had my second physio session last Tuesday 28th October 2014.. Again extremely painful using elbows. Then he said he was going to use a long needle to go into my piriformis muscle for pain relief. The needle was as long as from my elbow to fingertips- and went in quite deep, at least half way I'd say, I was lying on my side. When he twiddled the needle I could feel a dull pain down my leg, sciatica pain again. I should have had another treatment the following Fri, 31st, which I had to cancel a I was so bruised (black and blue visible bruises on both sides of my buttocks, but much worse on the left side, where the needle went in), it was extremely tender. I am now a week after my last treatment, and I am still visibly bruised and sore, and feel as though I have nerve damage or ruptured muscle deep in my buttock, when I contract the muscle, when walking it hurts, also sciatica has returned following the last treatment, but a dull constant ache. Does this make any sense to you? What would you recommend? I feel as though to change physio or have a gentle treatment, maybe going back to have the bowen technique? I am really interested in your opinion. Thank you, Angela
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I had acupuncture done 4 days ago for fertility issues.  She did the electroacupuncture on my body.  I could feel sensations of my face getting very hot, my adrenal area (where she placed the needle on the outside of my calves) burning and the top of my head burning.  She said that all of those symptoms were normal.  Right after treatment I felt great and went home and did my epsom salts bath.  That night I didn't sleep a wink.  I also started feeling loss of lubrication in my eyes, no saliva flow, numbness in my legs from the knee down, and heaviness to my legs, headaches, pins and needles when i'm sleeping.  It's Monday morning and I feel worse today  than previous days.  Now my left hand feels cold and numb, including all the other sensations that i'm getting.  I have an appointment with her this morning, and I'm terrified.  I'm afraid she will cause more symptoms or worsen the ones I have.  I'm drinking about 3-4 litres of water per day and I'm 98lbs.  I am taking today off of work because of how I feel.  IF ANYONE HAS SOME POSITIVE INSIGHT, please let me know.  Much appreciated.
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Did ur symptoms ever go away??
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I haven't read through all of these responses, but I am a very conscientious student in my last year of acupuncture school.

Yes, you can cause nerve damage if the angle and depth of insertion is not correct. There are certain points done at the base of the skull that can be and arguably are the most dangerous if they are inserted upward obliquely (the medulla of the brain is nearby). One of the previous posters was describing bladder and bowel dysfunction, etc.

I have actually had an acupuncturist who needles deeply damage the nerve in my wrist. There is a very popular point there (PC 6) that should be needled obliquely because the nerve is very close to the surface of the skin there, particularly if you are thin. When he inserted the needle, it was extremely painful and a lightning bolt sensation went down to my fingers. The point throbbed the entire session. The following days I experienced pain that woke me up in the middle of the night, tingling, numbness, and weakness of the hand.

Ironically, what helped the symptoms resolve was being needled in the same place more superficially. It took about 1-2 months to heal in me.

It is not abnormal to experience a dull pressure or tingling sensations or even a brief burning sensation (sometimes a vein is hit and this can't be prevented) upon insertion that subsides after a few seconds or a minute or two. What is abnormal is when the point hurts the entire time that the needle is retained, and hitting the nerve usually hurts very badly. A good acupuncturist will monitor any kind of pain you are having and adjust or pull out the needles accordingly.

Never go to a chiropractor or MD who is not also trained at a 4 year acupuncture institution. Many times they receive their certification in a weekend or two, and they have no idea of the theory of acupuncture (impossible to learn without years of study) or any real way of retaining appropriate depth and angle insertion. There are points that are near organs on the chest and back as well, and the angle/depth and cautions are drilled into your head as a student in a four-year setting.

Acupuncture is as much an art as it is a science, so knowing the theory behind it is very important. I am a cautious needler, I never go to the maximum depths in patients and I've never had any problems with anyone receiving my treatments.

Also of note: when receiving electro-acupuncture (e-stim), make sure the needles are stainless steel. Silver or gold-plated needles can electrolyze and lead to additional problems associated with metal toxicity in the body. Good quality brands of needles include Seirin, DBC, Cloud and Dragon.

Never go back to an acupuncturist who needles very deeply and has injured you in the past. Find one who is cautious and/or willing to needle superficially because they can help rectify some of the nerve damage, if you have experienced any in a session. Do inquire about their educational background/training. Don't go for dry needling practitioners who don't have a solid background in TCM.

Hope this was helpful for some of you here.


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Oh, and one last note: occasional bruising can be a normal side effect of acupuncture. There are certain constitutional deficiencies where this is more likely to occur. I've been bruised in sessions before and still received a lot of therapeutic benefit. A good acupuncturist will hold any point that bleeds for about 30 seconds or so to minimize bruising.
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I had anxiety and felt my ears were blocked,  I made the mistake of going to an acupuncturist, who did some very aggressive acupuncture on me.  She used an instrument with needles on it and punched them in my head and also used current with it.. I had never had acupuncture done before and figured this was normal.  Two days later, I had the most pounding noise in my head, and it has been five  years it has not gone away.  I am convinced she damaged some nerve in my brain.  It is hell to live with.  Never never go to an acupuncturist.  I do not believe in it
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Im so glad you have written this something very similar happened to me too now I'm left with constant tinnitus it drives me mad i so wish id never gone as there doesn't seem to be a cure
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did  you get better? I hope that you got better!!Please let me know and if so what you did to help!
I had accu last week and felt awful pain that was not there before!
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HI Mike,
I hope you got better.  how long did it take to resolve your nerve issue?
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where did you have the needles inserted? I toohave had sooo much pain.
I hope you feel better. How are you now?
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I had one acupuncture treatment over 4 years ago that has caused me permanent damage/injury. I walked in fine, and after the acupuncture treatment I had the same pain I have now over 4 years later. When leaving that office, I asked if the new pain was normal & was blown off by them and all the other acupuncture proponents. I went to numerous specialists & have done major research trying to heal it. It was the needle put into the inside of my left ankle, and kept me in walking cast/boot, crutches, etc for 2 years trying to figure it out & heal it - pain to walk & certain movements - very bad. Then, it went away for awhile, but comes back - at the moment it is back just as strong as the day I walked out of the acupuncturists office. I am very mad about the apparent permanent chronic damage & pain that I must now suffer with and also about no answers, no belief by others that this is what happened. Diet, epsom salts, St. John's Wort, etc. does not help - nothing I have tried helps!!! Please, if anyone has any other answers/help to end my misery, please let me know.
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What do you suggest for me?
What do you think (specifically) was injured on inside of my left ankle?
Thanks so much.
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Please let me know the status of your acupuncture injuries currently, and what you did to help?

Thanks much.
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I had acupuncture 4 weeks ago , a needle was put twice above my left wrist with immediate sharp pain shooting into my ring finger, which has been sore since and now since a week, the tip of that finger is crooked and knuckle is swollen, I did not have any arthritis before. After reading some or the stories here, I will definitely not go for acupuncture again.
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Yes Yes Yes you can have some effects of a nerve being inflamed from acupuncture. It can take sometime to heal back to normal depending on the area that had the acupuncture. Look up the word Neuritus for more information. Hopefully I helped someone here.
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I had acupuncture 9 months ago and the following day I had extreme sharp shooting joint pain. My shoulder, elbows, wrist, fingers, hips, knees, foot, and toes. There are days that I feel disable because I can't move nor walk without feeling pain all over my body.(I'm only 31 years old). If I don't take any medication, I end up with a fever or extreme shivers. I've been "self medicating" with medicines doctors don't recommend (2 Ibuprofen  600mg and 1 Prednisone) because it can use stomach bleeding and can "take years out of my life".
Doctors haven't diagnosed it but they think its Fibromyalgia. (which I doubt). I've tried countless of medication and none have worked for me        ( except the ibuprofens/ Prednison).
I've done countless of lab test which  all come back "normal" with an exception of a little bit of inflammation. Doctors say that's not enough inflammation to diagnose what I have. I've seen 6 different doctors/ 2 rheumatologist specialist and all they can say is "Chronic Pain" with-out a diagnosis.
I've asked if acupuncture can have caused this. They say that there hasn't been a case  in the past; "it should help rather than cause more problems", but I doubt it since you're getting poked by needles all over your body.I'm sure one of those needles trigger the right nerve to have cause this. I'm also sure I'm not the only one that has gone through this similar situation.
please comment if you have any similarity.
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I had deep needling acupuncture treatment for my back pain with Chinese Acupunturist the needles placed on the small area of my lowerback the top of my spine ,after treatment I have experience burning sensation feeling on my upper back its been five month still not improving now i got electric shock and tingling around upper back .went for second treatment for shoulder pain with gentler acupuncturist , and he place the needle on my head without discuss with me first ,after this treatment my head throbbing ,tingling on my head and ticks on my face , I'm really worry .please think twice before getting acupunture it could disturb your nerve somewhere and experience these symptoms.
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I went for acupuncture 2 days back for my stiff neck. The acupuncturist placed 2 needles on my hand and the rest were at the neck and base of the neck. Now I'm feeling electric current sensations all certain parts of my body that comes and goes. No pain though.

I hope its just the nerves being stimulated. Tingling can also be a sign of poor circulation, which I know I have. My acupuncturist is a licensed TCM practitioner who's a senior physician so don't think she screwed up. Hope its just my body reacting to the treatment. Will post updates in a few days time.
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Hello ,Have you ever recovered/ gotten any better from electric symptom after acupunture?
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It's been 8 month for me with the burNing pain from acupunture needle ,hasn't resolve much.
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I have had regular acupuncture treatments for a long time to calm my nerves and treat several injuries including one to the lower back. When I stopped going I felt perfectly fine for about three months until lower back pain occurred. The pain came from the site of the previous back injury. When I had tried to stop acupuncture previously pain would occur not necessarily in the same area and rather than taking drugs I would go back to the same acupuncturist. My family doctor had told me to stop the acupuncture but I told her I can't. I don't trust her either for she was the one who referred me to him. Massage, Physiotherapy and herbal remedies help a little but not as much as acupuncture.
The problem is that acupuncture is expensive and it is hard for me to save money.
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About a year ago my acupuncturist put a needle in my forehead. The worst pain has happened in between my eyebrows for about 8 months. I have a little faint circle now in between my eyebrows and the worst pain in my life. I have been to countless doctors who just brush me off. Please help!
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I'm also really scared as well. I went to see one for my shoulder and neck pain. The shoulder pain went away which was great, but now I have a very focused dull pain with a very faint pulsating feel for 2 weeks.

Has some damage been done do you think?

I'm also feeling a similar pain on the other side of my neck (but not as bad though).

Needles were inserted on the right side of my neck and shoulder, and the pain seems to be around where then needle was inserted in the neck which is very close to the skull (sort of in that depression where the hairline meets the neck).

The strange thing is that if I feel the same place on my left side then it feel more soft, but if I feel the right side where the pain is, then it feels hard.

It's around the GB20 location going from this picture.  
http://www.acupressure.com/blog/index.php/stress-relief-acupressure-points-for-shoulder-neck-tension/
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