Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is acupuncture safe?"

ZocdocAnswersIs acupuncture safe?


I?ve been thinking about acupuncture to deal with pain. I have pain all over the right side of my body and want to look at alternative medicine. Is acupuncture safe or could I hurt myself if I have it done?


I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with such severe chronic pain. First of all, I would check with your primary care doctor just to make sure there are no reasons why you could not participate in acupuncture. For most people, acupuncture is safe. Although there are no studies which have conclusively shown that it is beneficial, there are many patients with chronic pain who have used it and who have found it to be helpful for their pain. It is important to pick a licensed, reputable acupuncture provider. This will make sure that the procedure is safe and sterile. Also reputable acupuncture providers can usually bill to your insurance company, meaning that you may not have to pay full price to have acupuncture sessions. You may want also to talk to your primary care doctor about other options that are available to you for treatment of your chronic pain. For example, your doctor may be able to refer you to a chronic pain clinic or to a pain specialist. Pain clinics are extremely skilled in dealing with chronic pain, and they would probably be very helpful to you as you deal with this problem. Good luck!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.