Acupuncture for Arthritis

Arthritis is a progressive disease that affects various joints in the body, causing significant pain and eventual loss of motion. Acupuncture, often very beneficial in treating chronic pain, can be an effective treatment for managing different forms of arthritis.

Most Common Forms of Arthritis

Contact Us Now About Acupuncture for ArthritisOsteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of the disease, occurs as cartilage in the joints naturally wears away with age. With less cartilage protecting the joint, friction increases and pain occurs. In severe cases, bone eventually hits against bone and causes significant, even debilitating pain. Osteoarthritis may also arise in a previously injured joint, one where surgery was performed, or due to infection, gout, diabetes or obesity.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the synovial membranes and fluid that protect joints, causing painful inflammation. Joints may become red and stiff, resulting in restricted motion. The synovial membrane often thickens or erodes over time, which leads to the whole joint becoming affected. Ultimately, deformities may appear in the joints and further restrict movement.

Typical Arthritis Treatments

Patients typically take a regimen of pain-blockers to manage arthritis; anti-inflammatory medications, such as NSAIDs, are common. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be employed for rheumatoid arthritis; however, DMARDs can cause harmful side effects or become toxic.

Physical and heat therapy aid in keeping joints mobile, and certain diet modifications may reduce inflammation. Surgery, including joint replacement and removal of inflamed synovial tissues, is another option.

Acupuncture and Arthritis

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine developed thousands of years ago. It involves the placement of extremely fine needles into the skin at strategic points around the body. According to traditional theory, placing needles in these points stimulates meridians where the body’s life-force energy, or Qi, has become blocked. Reinstating the flow of Qi helps relieve the condition under treatment.

Increased use of acupuncture in western society has led to a different theory: Placing the needles stimulates nerves, causing the body to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Whatever the method of efficacy, acupuncture has proven to be successful in treating chronic pain, such as arthritis.

Typically, patients require multiple acupuncture treatments to attain longer lasting relief. Practitioners vary needle placement according to the patient and the specific type of arthritis. Placements may differ with successive treatments as the patient’s response becomes apparent. Treatments usually last about an hour, and numerous studies show that results can last multiple months in some patients.

Significant advantages of acupuncture treatment include extended relief, lack of toxic side effects, eliminating or reducing the need for multiple pills each day, and the ability to combine easily with other treatments.

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