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Pain/Burning sensation during acupuncture


I experienced a horrible burning sensation in my upper thighs and groin area during acupuncture. The acupuncturist pulled the needles out and the burning and redness subsided after about 20 minutes. Has anyone else experienced this?


Those types of experiences are not that common and can come about for a variety of reasons, but so long as they subsided fairly quickly in relative terms it’s generally not an issue. One, somewhat rare, but possible reason is that a few people have a mild skin reaction to the sterilizing agent on certain needle brands.

If it happens every treatment, that’s probably what it is and your acupuncturist can switch brands. If it’s only one treatment or a very occasional reaction and your overall condition is improving then I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

The other option is that your practitioner is using too aggressive of techniques and they should scale that back. If you discuss this with them and they think that might be part of the issue (or all of it) they should be able to easily adjust the treatment.


Chad Dupuis.,

Thank you for your prompt response. I will inform my acupuncturist. She
never had this experience with other patients.

Thanks again!


Chad Dupuis,

Does it matter that I experienced the extreme burning sensation in my upper
thighs when the needles were only put in my lower back and glutes? No
needles were in the upper thigh area. It took at least 20 minutes for the
extreme burning sensation to go away after the needles were taken out. The
burning sensation started almost immediately after the needles were put

My first 2 acupuncture treatments worked very well. I felt pain relief
throughout my back/lower back treatment. The third treatment is when I
felt the burning sensation. But, I believe the 3rd treatment was more
aggressive. I would like to continue with acupuncture because of my first 2
treatments were successful, but I am concerned that nerve damage can be an

Thank you so very much!

Pat Potter


If the needling technique was aggressive that may have irritated the tissue around the nerves at L1 or L2 which could easily account for the pain in the thigh and groin. Nerve damage from a trained acupuncturist is extremely unlikely. Now that your practitioner is aware of your response they should be able to adjust their style and/or technique to prevent it from happening again.


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