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Pain in the upper left abdomen area after acupuncture treatment


Hello, a few months ago I went to see an acupuncturist referred by a person I had just met (and met only once) who referred me to this acunpuncturist she was seeing for many years. I had previously had treatments done with a different one in the city I use to live previously and never had any similar issue.

During the treatment, the doctor put a needle right underneath my left breast in upper abdoment area and to a few other spots, including writs. When she left the room, I believe I felf my sweater slip down my torso and maybe touch the needle that was placed there, I believe remembering a discomfort then but since I couldn't really move my hands to pull the sweater up I just let it be.

About 7-10 days, a slight pain was felt in that area, at first I didn't connect the treatment I had a few days before. I was also seeing an osteopath, to whom I mentioned this pain, and then made the connection to the acupuncture treatment, in addition, I had some slight discomfort in my right ear. The osteopath reassured me saying this should disappear and indeed, after let's say 2-3 weeks the pain went away.

Now, for the last 7 days or so, the upper left abdomen pain came back, and I (maybe should have not) played with the area to try to understand where the pain was coming from, and made it MUCH worse. Coincidently, I also starting sunbathing and as I was laying down on hard surfaces on my belly, I thought this would have "awaken" the pain again (myabe I'm completely wrong). Now I feel everytime I am using my abdominal muscles, this upper left pain is hurting me, more and more, becoming handicapping.

My questions are:

1- is it right to believe it might have been due to that one acunpucture treatment?
2- should I go see another doctor to help out with this pain?
3- what can be done to maybe get rid of it?

Thank you.


As an addendum, just spoke to a different acupuncturist who did not reassure me a lot :-( saying that I should go see a doctor because there might be another issue and they need to clear that up before going on with acupucture treatments.

She said they can not treat an acupuncture treatment problem with another acupuncture treatment :-/ IF that is the case. Also said that there might have been a problem that was here for a while and the treatment itself "revealed" it.

My concern is that it doesn&#39t seem to really be an organ, because it right on top of my rib cage bone... and it hurts mainly when I "move, sneeze, contract my abs..."

Thank you for any input you might have.


So localized tissue damage is possible with deep needling and/or a slight mishap such as your shirt falling down on the needle. As your original doctor says this rarely lasts long - being quite uncommon to begin with. Usually it is somewhere from a couple days to 4-6 weeks at the absolute most and even then not constant. There are some stronger techniques that could cause more damage, largely done in China, but even those except in the absolute rarest of circumstances wouldn&#39t create something that wouldn&#39t heal in that time.

You could certainly get checked out by your physician, but in the absense of any strong digestive or respiratory symptoms they will likely find nothing at all. To reassure your own mind, however, some simple blood work and a general physical would rule out 95% of any organic causes.

Now what to do, well first you don&#39t mention why you were having acupuncture to begin with, how many treatments you&#39ve had and how you have actually progressed so it&#39s difficult to generalize an answer for you. But if it were me personally and also what I recommend largely in cases like this is to do acupuncture, but -not- with the same person unless they can clearly tell you what they think happened.


... very much for your reply.

The reason I went was to better my blood circulation, as I have spider veins on my legs and I feel pain in the lower part of the legs when I have pressure on. For this reason, I had that one and only treatment done. And due to that one treatment only, can&#39t say that there was indeed some progress.

If this is like you stated a localized tissue damage, what options can I have to help with it and to avoid having the fear of having the pain reoccur in the future.

I live in Los Angeles, and if you or anybody else have a good acupuncturist to refer, I&#39d be thankful.


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