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acupuncture causing nerve pain/damage?
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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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Avatar_m_tn
Who says you suffered nerve damage?  Only a neurologist could diagnose that.  The process of acupuncture, like any natural healing, usually makes a person worse before it makes you better; you often go through the stages you went through to get to where you are.  So it could be that the pain is a good signal that he reached the right spot, but it needs more work.  The damage you're referring to happens in China when certain unconventional practices are performed, but you didn't have any of those.  It just sounds like your circulation was affected, which is what acupuncture does.  Give it a week and another treatment or two before you give up, and try some St. John's wort for the nerve symptoms -- you can take it in homeopathic form, it's called hypericum, try 30C as the dose.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok, Maybe  "damage" is a strong word.  However I find the sensations disturbing.  It's only been a few days but it's freaking me out since I never experienced any negative effects before from acupuncture.  It's not so much the pain as it is the tingling type feelings.
Just curious if anyone else has had a similar side effect
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499534_tn?1328707778
Yes I experience some tingling and sore areas at some needle locations. It usually means It is a problematic area or imbalanced area of the meridian or particular organs involved. As Pax said, you need to give it time and more treatments. It is bringing circulation and blood to that area as well. Don't freak out as sensation is normal.
Some treatments I hardly feel a thing, and other times I get one or two areas that hurt when needle is in.
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Avatar_n_tn
So you've had this sort of thing last for a couple of days?  That's what was scaring me is that everyone said it would pass in a few hours but it's been 3 days now.  I've never spoken to anyone that said they had symptoms for days after treatment.

What's the longest time you had discomfort for?  I wonder going in earlier for another treatment would help?

thanks
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499534_tn?1328707778
Has the numbness gone away? Have you gone back for another treatment yet?
Try soaking in a hot epsom salts bath and see if it helps......
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Avatar_n_tn
No the tingling is worse and is quite painful as well.  Worse than the back pain.
I saw my physician and he said the needle appears to have irritated the peroneal nerve  Apparently it may take weeks or months to heal.
I may go for more treatments but with a different acupuncturist.

Thanks for asking
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Avatar_m_tn
Bummer.  Just confirms what I didn't want to say, people should see acupuncturists who study the four year acupuncture program and traditional Chinese medicine.  Doctors and chiropractors and such can get an acupuncture degree in a couple of weekends in special programs for health professionals.  Hope it works out okay.  Try some arnica montana, a homeopathic remedy that speeds healing, and some hypericum, homeopathic St. John's wort -- it helps nerve healing.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Tried to post this earlier, but not sure what happened. I posted this on another website too.
Over 20 years ago I went to a qualified acupuncturist for help with a sinus condition. During one of the treatments I felt a crawling sensation in my right side and a feeling as if I was being split in two. My life for the next four years became a nightmare and I have never felt well again since. I also experienced all the numbness, crawling and pulling sensations and feeling out of balance, which affected the whole of my right side, from foot to head, and can make it difficult for me to think straight.  People noticed the complete change in me, some saying I lost my zest and vitality overnight. I believe it weakened me and affected other aspects of my health including my digestion and energy, and consequently how I live my life.  The acupuncturist said that it was a reaction to treatment and continued to treat me for almost a year,(for which I paid). I don't want to write too much, but to this day, I still struggle with it. I spent thousands on trying to find a solution ,including an actual chinese acupuncturist, and have also seen doctors and neurologists. I know that it is difficult for others to comprehend, but I was the one on the couch that day when this happened. I was perfectly healthy, fit and strong prior to this. The ironic thing is that i could easily have alleviated the sinus condition through dietary adjustments, but I was ignorant of that at the time. Instead I have been left with a long standing condition, which despite all my efforts I have not been able to correct and have had to try and learn to live with. I am told I have m.e. Perhaps, but I know what I was like immediately before and after that treatment on that day. I have heard of one other case of a woman being left with very similar right side problems. I also read a letter a number of years ago in a magazine from a woman who had developed digestive and energy problems after acupuncture and was still suffering from this reaction, at that time, 18 months later. The reply to her was quite patronising. People who do get severe side effects from treatment are probably in the minority, are not believed and are out on their own. I have also heard of others who have experienced severe pain from treatment. One person I know felt the wrong sensation when having treatment, but thanks to knowing what happened to me, had the insight to tell the acupuncturist, who then withdrew the needles, saying she had placed them to close to a nerve. This makes you wonder!  It was impossible to delve into aspects of my treatment later as my notes went 'missing'. I wish to this day I had never gone to see that Acupuncturist, it was one of the worst things I ever did. It changed my life, but not in a good way. I think there are more people who suffer side effects but these are not reported. I am not saying acupuncture has not benefited people. I am saying that anything that can potentially do good by its very nature has the potential to also do harm. I apologise for offence taken by anyone, but I am only writing the truth.
I hope too that, in the spirit of openness and honesty, that this post will be included on this website.

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Avatar_n_tn
you said you have low back pain. have you had an mri to see if you have disc problems if you do then see a neurosurgeon and if surgery is the answer
then ask about the axialif procedure
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144586_tn?1284669764
Modern accupuncturists in the United States use very thin needles, and although theoretically possible, it is unlikely that an accupuncture treatment will cause permanant damage. In some treatment protocols elicitation of pain is what is intended.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's very unlikely it's nerve damage. It got to the nerve and manipulated the needle.  It can cause soreness afterwards. I have fibromyalgia and had to stop accupuncture.  It's a bit to invasive of a therapy for me. But that's me. You might want to try another therapist. I've had 3 fabulous acupuncturists and never had anything like that happen.  It should not be a long term problem though.
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I thought I would followup on this .  The acupuncturist is also a medical doctor and he refered me to a neurologist.  By the time I got in to see him the symptoms were gone.  It took about 3 and 1/2 weeks for them to resolve.

The neurologist said the needle may have either pierced a nerve or been very close and the electro-stim damaged the nerve.  Fortunately, the needles are very thin and solid unlike a syringe which has a hollow centre and acts like a "shovel".  Thus the nerve fibre damage if it occurs (which is incredibly rare) will generally resolve with no long-term problems.

I continue to see this acupuncturist and do not get the electro-stim anymore.  It seems to really help my back.

Montos
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Avatar_m_tn
That's a relief.  Glad to hear it.
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Thank you for the followup. Glad to hear you are benefiting from acupuncture. I absolutely love going myself.
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I agree with Paxiled - you would need to see a neurologist.  I am also an acupuncture physician and have seen patients get worse before they get better, especially in the first few treatments when their is a greater severity of their symptoms.  Hang in there.

DrM

www.prescribinginformation.com
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I had my first acupuncture appt 2 days ago. When the doctor put a needle in my wrist, it ached a bit. It hurt really badly when I tried to move my arm. I told her and she moved her fingers over my arm "spreading it through the meridian." The pain lessened but throbbed a couple of times while I was lying there. When the nurse removed the needles, I asked her if that was normal. She said yes. I've still had a low dull ache in my wrist since. I just called and left a message for my doctor. Does that sound like nerve pain or just sore muscle? God, I hope it’s the former. I went to acupuncture to help me, not add a new problem! I hope it goes away.

Also, during the consultation, she said if a needle ever did hit a nerve, that it would be so horribly painful that I would jump off the table. I wonder if that was an exaggeration.
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I am one of those people who cannot tolerate acupuncture. In the first place I find it too painful. I have never been damaged, but the process seems to overly excite my nervous system. The result is a drop in blood sugar. This is probably a very rare reaction, but unpleasant enough to keep me away from such treatments.
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Hi I am sure the same thing has happened to me.  Since having a needle in my hand (between my fingers) for tennis elbow, I experienced "pins and needles" at the time, and this has continued.  It has beenalmost 4 weeks, I still have the pain in my elbow, but the feeling in my hand I find most disturbing, so I'm hoping it will soon disappear.  I'm not happy about going back for a further treatment.

patmos
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thank you for sharing this montos i have the same exact problem-ijustposted on nerve damage and acupuncture-but just got it last week! i am in PAIN-just to TYPE:(
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Hi montos
have a look at my post
I went to acupuncturist last week. I have been in pain ever since. She put in needles WITHOUT alcohol swabbing in my elbow crease area on R and L arm, and  straight on side of index finger in addition to sides of feet near big toe. I had tingling sensations and uncomfortable ever since. I have uncomfortable tingling in my left arm and left wrist, it was difficult to type with both hands without a weird uncomfortable sensation for first 3 days including intermittent pins and needles in both my feet. After 4th or 5th day the weird sensations in hands and arms turned to pain. I still have slight tingling in my right hand and soreness in right upper arm is still there. When I walk and swing my arms, I can feel the same odd sensations in both of my arms to hands. Fine motor skills are slightly weakened in the right hand particularly because of uncomfortable sensations which I found out from an MD to be due to radial nerve damage as a result of acupuncture. There is slight tingling behind my left knee as I walk and when I try to point my toes there will be an uncomfortable tingling sensation in my feet. These effects really concern me as I have been always healthy for all my life and have never had any prior health problems at the level of this severity previously. These sensations are uncomfortable and unbearable and I can only hope they do not continue.  I have pain in hands just in typing this question (used to be fast typer-now 60% slower). My question is: Do you think it is possible to make a full recovery? Feel free to comment on anything else..
Look forward to your input, thank you!!
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Avatar_m_tn
i am in my fourth week unimproving neurological symptoms. went to neurologist and they performed tests which show my nerves and automatic reflexes are not functioning properly. i feel transient tingling, pain and muscle weakness. stationary numbness on certain body parts, that does not vary. this is over various parts of my whole body. my accupuncturist says he must have hit some nerves. 3 days after treatment (my first and only treatment), i had trouble even walking. cant control my bladder hardly at all. confused thinking as well. anyway.. if anyone has had this, please let us know and contact me. thanks! orzorz.***@****

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yes... even wikipedia states nerve damage is a risk of accupuncture.  and by they way... encyclopedia brittanica published a study that shows nerves can be damaged without the patient feeling it.  see here: http://www.britannica.com/bps/additionalcontent/18/36615707/Perforation-of-the-median-nerve-with-an-acupuncture-needle-guided-by-ultrasound
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I have had needles in my back.  Some are painless.  Others give a searing hot pain on entry which sometimes remains.  It is so painful that I wonder if the phsio (which is what he is) is doing the job correctly.  He hasn't ben doing it long.  Is this normal ?
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I had accupuncture on 19 July 2010 for migraine, neck and back pain.  Didnt want one in hand as always painful.  New accupuncturist pursuaded me that it was a really good one to get.  I have had pain in my hand since and has got worse to such an extent I can hardly type with my right hand.  I have numbness, tingling, tightness, swelling and pain.  I work as a typist and am really struggling at work.  Dont know if I am making it worse working or should I stay off.  Pain clinic said to keep it moving!!!  Easy for them to say!!!  Has your pain eased and if so how long did it take?
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after ready your article i can relate to you.i too have had accupuncture in lower back and experienced severe pain like no other pain ive ever had.after years of accucpuncture i now have stopped going.the pain has put me off ever having accupuncture again.pity as it was work up till that point.how are you at the moment?
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it has been over 3 months and my sypmtoms have barely improved, if at all.  i have had a significant change in my thinking and memory and emotional connections to those memories.  my neurologist said that because spinal cord is connected to the brain, a needle touching the spinal cord could cause this brain trauma.  my toenail ripped off without me even feeling it... that's how numb my feet are.  still problem with mild incontinence, both urinary and bowel.  can't stand or walk for much longer than half an hour and sleep about 16 hours a day.  apparently, this is typical of spinal cord injury.  please be careful with accupuncture.  i heard the chinese work deep and hard.  japanese style is much less invasive.  if anyone has any exprience with this please let me know if you healed and how long it took.  thanks.
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you mentioned in another post that certain "unconventional practices in china" can cause some of the sypmtoms on this board.  what are those practices?   my accupuncuturist is very unconventional.
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I had accupunture yesterday on my lower back, every second needle inserted gave me an electric shock feeling or a zing in my spine.  I am assumed he was touching a nerve and asked him this. I asked him if this was normal, he stated no, but thought I was just nervous.  Today my low back pain feels much worse, I don't know if I should make my Monday appointment
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Avatar_m_tn
Can Acupuncture cause nerve damage if a careless acupuncturist is the one putting needles in your arm?

Yes.  Acupuncture can cause nerve damage, if the idiot doctor isn't careful. I had acupuncture, and the doctor inserted a needle in my right wrist. Pain shot through my entire arm.  The idiot was careless, didn't seem to care and hit a nerve in my arm.  Then when I told him about the pain, the idiot just pushed down on the needle harder and hit the nerve again.  Some of these acupuncturists are quacks and are dangerous and careless.  Then he had on a long white looking doctor's jacket which kept brushing up against the other needles he had already inserted on the left side of my body causing me pain, but not any nerve pain to that side. I wanted to slap him and tell him to take off his long clumsy white coat while working on the clients. He seemed to be oblivious to the fact that his coat kept brushing up against needles already inserted and caused pain when he did so.

The guy was a nice person but a dangerous one when you put needles in his hand. It has made me to where I never want to ever try acupuncture again. My right wrist and hand have now been tighter and somewhat uncomfortable ever since he hit that nerve, and it has been two weeks since it happened. Plus this guy had been doing it for over 20 years, so he wasn't an amateur. The bottom line is it is dangerous and you don't really have a sure way of knowing whether the doctor you go to see is going to be wearing a white coat and be oblivious to the potential pain or nerve damage he might be causing you.  This bullcrap that if it hurts, the doctor has hit the right spot is just that - a bunch of bullcrap. It is probably acupuncturists way of hiding the fact that the practice is dangerous and can cause nerve problems all the time. They hide that fact by whenever they do hurt a customer by saying, "I must have hit the right spot" - ******** that you did you idiotic careless doctor who needs to have some needles stuck in his *** for his carelessness.

Bottom line.  You better be careful if you go see an acupuncturist.
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Avatar_m_tn
Okay, maybe I had a bad experience at the acupuncturist's office because he hit a nerve in my right wrist and seemed to be oblivious to it.  However, my right wrist still is somewhat uncomfortable every now and then.  I do not plan on going back so that another acupuncturist can make the same mistake and make another part of my body uncomfortable and tight for no telling how long because he carelessly hits a nerve in a different part of my body.

Maybe acupuncture is beneficial for some people; however, unless I had some kind of major problem where only acupuncture is known to cure it, I do not plan on going back. Instead, I might try acupressure or if there are acupuncturists who use real short needles which are incapable of hitting nerves, I might try one of them one day. All I am saying is just be careful, and if you see an acupuncturist, tell him to take off his long white coat before he starts sticking a bunch of needles all over your body and then brushing his coat up against them.

Just some words of wisdom because apparently some of these acupuncturists are oblivious to various ways they can cause you pain inadvertently. However, I am sure if you laid the acupuncturist doctor on the table, and then put on a long white coat, yourself, and ran your coat all up and down the needles you had inserted in him,  he or she would probably wake up and be more careful with their practice in the future.

As you can tell, I was not happy with the experience I had at the acupuncturists office, and I hope my messages can save other people from some of the careless behaviors of acupuncturists. It's difficult saying some of these things because usually the acupuncturist is a nice person, but people do not like needlessly feeling pain no matter how nice the person may or may not be. Just be careful and consider possibly acupressure first. Have a good day.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi guys

Just did a quick research and learnt that a number of people caught hepatitis B, C HIV and infections from acupuncture because the needles were not sterilised properly.

I booked an appointment with a Chinese acupuncturist, who is supposed to be a senior doctor, because I heard increases the chance of quick conception and healthy baby. Now I am not so sure.

Any advice please??????      
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Hi guys

Just did a quick research and learnt that a number of people caught hepatitis B, C HIV and infections from acupuncture because the needles were not sterilised properly.

I booked an appointment with a Chinese acupuncturist, who is supposed to be a senior doctor, because I heard increases the chance of quick conception and healthy baby. Now I am not so sure.

Any advice please??????      
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Avatar_m_tn
Most acupuncturists in western countries use disposable needles, they don't reuse them.  They're wrapped just like the needles are now when blood is drawn, opened, then tossed.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I had accupuncture over 2 years ago for neck, back pain, and some stress relief.  He put needles in starting from top of head, ears, wrists, bk of neck, lower back, behind knees, and ankles.  As I was leaving the office after treatment, I started feeling a burning, prickly, some itchy type feelings all over me, from top of head through to my ankles, pain behind the knees where needles where especially, and tingling, numbness in feet and ankles, skin looks slightly inflammed per dermatologist.  I've had symptoms ever since, but they are being controlled by Nortriptyline prescribed by GP.  I try to wean off medicine, but it all comes back as strong.  
I've had no luck with my GP, he doesn't believe accunpuncture caused it, a dermatologist who says he doesn't know what it is, to a neurologist who ran nerve tests but said all came back normal, except showing some carpal tunnel in left hand.  Does anyone know of a great neurologist in NYS that might be able to help, or is there no help?  I've lived for over 2 years like this, and seems like I'll live with this the rest of my life.  
I would never recommend accupuncture to anyone, it has ruined my life.
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I had acupunture on my back. one needle hurt badly, but pain went away immediately. Then next day the pain started in that area sharply and also all other parts that she put the needles. I hope it goes away and there is no damage on my nerves. I will tell everyone to stay way from acupunture the risk is too high. One should not play with the nerves.
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One of the protocols with accupuncturists is to deliberately induce nerve inflammation in a small minor nerve because the body can only transmit one pain signal at once to the brain. Part of the treatment may involve causing discomfort.

There is ample evidence that "black-out" level eat-the-gun pain can sometimes be relieved by accupuncture.

The needles are small and the irritation to the nerves will invariably heal over time.

Accupuncture involves minimal risks and is an appropriate alternative to drugs for chronic debilitating pain.
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I had acupuncture 5 weeks ago for pain on my right side.  I had a needle put in underneath my left ankle bone, on my right foot, and that has started a strange occurrence.  It started out with a small tiny pin-***** feeling at first, approximately 1 week after the acupuncture, then gradually the area got larger and it is now about a 50 cent piece area.  When I bend my ankle, as in to go up or down the stairs, I will feel a tingling (nearly like paresthesia) and then it feels as if it's stretching and pulling.  It is close feeling to an electrical shock.  So this will happen each time I walk up or down a step, or bend my foot upwards (not backwards).
I am so happy to find this forum, as I was stressing about this.  I'm hoping so much that it will go away in time as did the OP's.
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I had accupunture once for back pain. One of the needle place in the area that never ached, made me say OUWCH!!. Then the pai was gone. the next day the pain on the area that needle hurted me started to ache and the pain spread upwards, downward, sideward. I became piece of pai and ache. I could not walk in water as I used to do for my back pain. Now it is almost 2 months and I am still in a lot of pain still cannot walk walk in the water and sitting became a torture for me. Please try something else which has less risk. It takes a lit move to hurt you very badly and maybe for life time.    
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Avatar_f_tn
  
    To every one,
                      several years ago  i had accupunture for a trapped nerve in my left arm.Before the accupuncturist began he ask me to lift a chair . I could not even lift it a fraction of an inch it seemed extremely heavy, after the accupunture (only one needle i felt a pinch as it went in) he ask me to lift the chair again, i thought this chap is having a laugh. WOW the chair seemed like a feather weight as i lifted it.My nerve was untrapped and  ive NEVER experienced any sensations or pain of any kind like other people on here have,i was lucky to find a very good experienced accupunturist here in England
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I've done 6 treatments of acupuncture and last night a little after midnight I woke up with the worst sharp pains in both ankles & feet and in both my wrists. My feet started twitching and I was in so much pain I couldn't go back to sleep so I got up and took 800 mg of Ibuprofen. By the time it kicked in I went back to sleep but when I got up to get ready for work I could barely walk. I called my Dr. that did the acupuncture and he wants me to report back to him for the next few days. I'm not scheduled for another treatment for 6 more days. Don't know if I want to. That was hell.
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Hi.  I'm so sorry you have been having such a hard time.  I'm working on healing right side nerve issues.  For me...  my number one help is God.  Then I look to the natural helps He gave us.  I had acupuncture last year and while it didn't seem to help I didn't get the reaction you did.  But I wanted to share what I've been finding out so far.... things that may help with nerve damage....  first look at med. studies.  I like to go to pubmed *******.  St. John's Wort, a mushroom known as Lion's Mane, ashwagandha, ashitaba, capsaicin, proper B vitamin levels, Gingko Biloba, getting rid of any mercury (amalgams), clear out any candida, peony and horse chestnut are some of what I'm finding so far.  Also stress can really mess you up although it's understandable.  So use diet, relaxation and supps to fight stress and it's affects in the body.  Ashwagandha is really good for that too and schizandra, lemon balm and there's alot more.  Blessings,  Ali  ***@****     I Peter 2:23 By Jesus' stripes we were healed.  
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Avatar_f_tn
It can be a good idea to always check any practitioner's qualifications and membership of the association for that modality.  Feelings of qi sensation can be weird and uncomfortable and feel like heaviness, warmth or tingling and sometimes a bit zappy.  Pain is incorrect and a good acupuncturist will listen to their patient and modify their treatment accordingly.  SOmetime if a needle is on a hair follicle this will feel sharp and the needle just needs to be moved a half mm or so away.  A good practitioner listens to patients and works to make them feel better in their body and to reduce pain and other symptoms.  If your medical practitioner of ANY kind is not doing this then it may be best that you find another.  Best wishes to all to find peace and healing.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had one acupunture treatment for my right ankle tendon not healing. She put needles in both ankles, my arm, feet, and my forehead. Immediately after treatment, walking out of office, my other ankle was hurting (left) and continues to hurt all the time - it's been 3 weeks now - and worse,not better. I'm very angry about this - seems to be permanent damage - but sure hope not. What can I do to heal this injury?
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I am so glad to find this page/ venting arena, I have had chronic pain (undiagnosed) been to chiro/massage/GP and was given muscle relaxers, no help! I changed my diet, tried vitamins, exercise and then decided to give acup. a try
yesterday, my Dr. even wrote the order, I did try cortizone and had terrible side affects with that! So I went to a professional who has been doing this for 30 years, she was very nice and seemed educated, I asked some ?? and she seemed eager for me to change all my supplements to the ones she sold, so I went along. She had me lay down and proceeded to distribute around 10-15 needles, some were tingly and some caused me to say ouch, some I felt nothing. So after the session she had me walk around, my pain seemed to be mostly gone, including a
headache I had had for 3 days, I left her office feeling hopeful indeed. After returning home I felt tired and was relaxing on my couch, then my shoulder began to hurt (ache) so I got a heating pad and placed it on my pain. A bit later feeling concerned the pain was new...not the old pain, so I was asked a question by my hubby and turned my head to answer him...I got an electric pain through my neck that made me scream, I said thought it felt like a pinched nerve...so I reached to rub it and I found a needle jammed in my neck, (she left it there), it jammed in deep!
I was furious!! Cursed and cried, the pain was radiating down my hands and caused numbness, shoulder pain was deeper and now my damn neck hurt worse. I had my husband there to cry to...I am still experiencing pain in my hands and neck, the day after. I am wanting advice on how to approach this "SPECIALIST". I am not one to be confrontational...been through a botched surgery/ severed nerve in groin, deadened now. What would anyone suggest I do to affectively approach such a situation? Feeling like the $150.00 I spent was pissed away and for more pain that wasn't there before. Very frustrated but I want to be proactive very soon. Thanks! Loli
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I have had a few experiences of nerve pain when getting acupuncture.  The first time it happened the pain was sudden, unbelievable and gasp-worthy.  The pain didn't resolve when the acupuncturist removed the needle, and I proceeded to writhe, scream and cry for the 10 minutes it was at its most intense, and had ongoing discomfort and throbbing for several hours afterwards.  The practitioner, bless him, comforted me and placed needles in areas designed to reduce pain and trauma.  

This site continued to produce such results every time he tried to use it.  Eventually he gave up needling it, and used moxibustion and acupressure to soften the point... and a few months later it accepted a needle with no fuss.

I have had a few reactions similar, less intense but with similar onset of sudden shocking pain and then a fade down to discomfort.  Apparently this is because of a hypersensitivity... interesting that it's the same sites that produce these reactions though.  I get an excellent result from acupuncture, and now that my practitioner is aware of the sites that cause these reactions, he uses dry needling or moxi on them instead of traditional needles.  Much better!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I started acupunture two weeks ago to treat sleep apnea and it seems to help my sleep and some stress, however last week I felt a very sharp pain on my right wrist and I am a little concern, pain seems to have lessen.
I am going to see the acupuncturist who is also a MD tonight, I was recommended to this Doctor from my Dermatologist and she has been going with her for many years, I will keep you post it on my progress
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi I see this was posted a couple years ago, but I have the exact same symptoms from a new accupunturist, and was wondering how long it took for you to get back to normal?
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Avatar_m_tn
I just want to cry. I had acupuncture on my back, legs and feet with "deep needling" it's been a week and I have pin and needles from my feet to my knees and burning pain from my feet to my low back. It really gets bad at night and its so difficult to sleep.
I don't know what to do, going back to the acupuncturist next tuesday. What should I do?
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Avatar_m_tn
I had acupuncture for lower back pain with needles inserted at the top of the back of the leg, back of the knee and back of ankle.  I had severe pain from one needle on the first session and on the second session from two needles.  However, after the second session I also had stiffness and a throbbing pain near my hip near the point of insertion one of the needles that hurt severely.  I had had no pain before.  It was so bad I refused to carry on with treatment.  Its been four months now and the pain if anything is worse.  Its not a sharp throbbing pain now but a constant dull ache that some days is unbearable.  I get stiffness extending the leg forwards. Stretching helps but it won't go away.  My back hasn't improved a lot but the hip pain is almost as bad as theback pain now.  I would say to anyone thinking of acupuncture for back pain - forget it.  Stick to physio excercises.
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I have suffered from severe siatic (sciatic) issue from a herniated disc.  I have tried everything.  Recently I went for a deep tissue massage as well as acupuncture.  When the treatment was over, I couldn't walk.  I was overcome with sever low back pain and numbness in my rt leg combined with surges of hot sensations and burning.  I spent three days in and out of the ER and put on meds to curb the pain.  The third day in the ER the pain and burning sensation was so bad I went into shock and became paralyzed for approx 20 min, very scary.  Needless to say that was two days ago, all the pain and burning has gone and I have little to no low back pain.  The siatic (sciatic) symptoms are gone completely.  I've been suffering with this pain for almost 8 months, this new found "feel good" feeling is making me nervous any thoughts??
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, it's odd one treatment would do that, but the rule of natural healing is you get worse before you get better as you go back through the steps that got you where you are.  When you release stored toxins, obviously you get sicker, but once they're flushed out, you start to get better.  That's the theory, anyway.
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I have planter faciitis on my right foot and I decided to give accunpunture a try.. I had 2 sessions twice a week for about 1 month and I was feeling quite confident about it and happy with the results until after 1 session I noticed quite bad swelling around my ankle on the left side of my right foot, I showed my partner and he even agreed that it looked swollen. My foot definately wasn't swollen before the session as I would have most certainly noticed it as it was quite noticeable. I went back the following week and asked the accupuncturist about it and he denied that it would have been caused by accupuncture, he said that it was most likely something else, it just seemed very strange to me that it wasn't swollen before that session and after it was.. I showed my family doctor that has known me my whole life and he even said that it looked like an accupuncture needle caused the swelling... It has been at least 2 months and it is still swollen and I also experience weird sensations from time to time in my foot.. I feel quite annoyed as my parents and I have spent over $1000 on accunpuncture treatments to try and fix my foot but I honestly think its done more harm than good, instead of fixing my foot it has made it worse and the apperance of it has changed and im worried that the swelling my never go away..
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been suffering from vertigo for 10 years.   In June 2002 I went to see chinese women doctor in Newcastle for acupuncture due to neck and back problems.   After having the treatment I started to experience severe dizziness (constant rocking sensation).  At first I thought it was the neck that was causing the dizziness, so I continued to go back for more acupuncture, the more treatment I had the more worse the rocking got.  I also kept throwing up and my legs started to shake when I was standing still.  I don’t want to put anyone of from trying acupuncture as I know that it has helped some people.  I’m having acupuncture treatment now with a different doctor and I’m fine when I have it with him.  I have been diagnosed with a rare brain condition called orthostatic tremor by a neurologist at the RVI hospital in Newcastle.  Since having the dizzy spells my life has been put on hold.  
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I know how you feel.  Since having acpuncture treatment with this women doctor my life has been hell.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Maria9uk,

Just to say, I know your account it truthful.

It is difficult to come forward and speak of being severely damaged by a treatment which is designed to benefit, but it is not simply possible, it is likely to damage in the hands of either a maltrained, or an intentionally malignant practitfioner.

I have been similarly impaired, dis-abled, by a TCM practitioner who was at the time the Head Teacher at The British School of Acupuncture, when the school was based around Russell Sq.  His name was Dr Lau, and as a result of his deliberate intent to injur, I still have pain on two places on my back, close to the vertebral colum: L5-S1, where I have subsequently developed a prolapsed disc ( coincidence?), and on the back of the heart, agail left side, by column.  

Those to points, which had me arch up, backwards, and scream with incredible pain, as rammed neddles into place, while uttering with utmost desdain: "you must be an artist.. Too emotional!"  

Those two points still hurt, even without touching.  They are uncomfortable.  And along with the treatment came incredible personality change... I will not go into it, since my purpose here, is to validate and support your courage to courageously come forward to meet a potentially vast contentious barrage against you.

It is no secret that Asian healing arts are effective as designed to bring back to life, or even simulate death for extended periods of time, to ensure to reviving  and , or survival of martial artists, Samurai, and ancient leaders.

The Asian healing arts have many, extraordinary capabilities, as they stem from exquisite learning.   However, what may be less easily admitted is teir potential to mame, and indeed, kill.

It is no secret that the greatest healers are also the greatest killers. They possess the knowledge to do either.  And, by specific intent, because in full command of such ability,  or by sheer blunder, owed to sheer incompetence,  Traditional Medicine practices have the potential to harm.

In your support, with thanks,
Suzette
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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_n_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_n_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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