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Pain in chest after acupuncture


I had acupuncture yesterday as I had been feeling tired and exhausted. I have had it about 5 times before and always found I reacted very fast and responded well to it. I have seen an acupuncturist before when my baby was overdue and I was in labour with in 24 hours and had a fast homebirth and also I have seen acupuncturists for sciatica and to stop smoking years ago all of which were very successful.

I have never had a needle in the chest area before. Yesterday the acupuncturist who I had not been to before inserted a needle in my sternum area - I think it is REN17. Ever since it has been really sore under there on the bone. The needle was in for nearly an hour and I think at one point it got knocked and hurt a bit.

It is over 24 hours later and still hurting a lot. Is this something I should be worried about? I called her to tell her today and ask her about it and she said it was bruising to the connective tissues and to apply lavender oil and massage away from it. She said she used 16mm needles.

I read about pneumothorax and cardiac tamponade and now I am worried. If it was serious would I have already developed more serious symptoms?


Your practitioner is correct, you have nothing to worry about. CV 17 is on top of the sternum and it is impossible to needle through the sternum to cause any problems. It is possible to create some localized bruising or tissue irritation. Your practitioners recommendation of using lavender oil and massaging the area seems perfectly fine. Pneumothorax, etc. are life threatening situations with very strong symptoms and essentially unheard of from acupuncturists in the west.

If you are still sore after 3-5 days, consult with your doctor (not your acupuncturist).

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