At about age 57 I began to experience discomfort on my left side (shoulder, upper arm, forearm including a tingling sensation in the thumb of my left hand). It was tolerable for a while. As it worsened I consulted with my physician who prescribed physical therapy, not realizing the root of the problem was a bulge in C6 and C7 in my spinal cord. The therapy worked for a couple of weeks.
I soldiered on until the pain became nearly intolerable, whereupon I consulted the shoulder specialist who had operated on my wife's torn rotator cuff. He sent me to the spinal doctor, who did an x-ray and immediately recommended surgery.I asked for an alternative, so he suggested a pain shot which he advised would have only temporary results. Sure enough, after a year of no pain, it came back with a vengeance.
Wanting to avoid an expensive and dangerous surgical procedure, I gravitated to a chiropractor. Tried it for two months including deep massages. No luck.A co-worker suggested acupuncture as she had just tried it for tingling in her shoulder. She recommended some one practicing in Evanston, IL.That was in Oct. 2004.
I had 5 treatments at $65 each. The treatments were spaced about a week apart.It's been 6 years and it's been almost perfect. There are times when I get some discomfort (very bearable, by the way). I've had absolutely no pain or discomfort for the first 3 years. In year 4, I needed a one-time tune up.
I've read that acupuncture does not provide a permanent solution. Really? Who cares? I certainly don't. It's all about managing the pain. The person doing the acupuncture told me up front that if it doesn't work in 5 treatments, it probably won't work at all. I was one of the lucky ones. - Leon