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Arthritis: Can acupuncture help?

Updated: May 7

chinese medicine and acupuncture
Acupuncture and arthritis

Acupuncture, a cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, has gained recognition in Western medicine for its efficacy in treating various health conditions, including arthritis. Arthritis, a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the joints, causes pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. While conventional treatments like medication and physical therapy offer relief, acupuncture provides an alternative or complementary approach that many find beneficial.

Research supports acupuncture's effectiveness in managing arthritic symptoms. Several studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce pain and improve joint function in individuals with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other forms of arthritis. One study published in the Journal of Pain found that acupuncture significantly decreased pain and improved physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment.

Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body, known as acupoints, with thin needles. This stimulation promotes the body's natural healing response, releasing endorphins and other neurochemicals that alleviate pain and inflammation. Additionally, acupuncture may help regulate the immune system and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with arthritis.

One of the key advantages of acupuncture is its minimal side effects compared to conventional medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids, which can cause gastrointestinal issues or long-term complications. Acupuncture offers a safe and non-invasive option for managing arthritic conditions, making it suitable for individuals seeking alternative or adjunctive treatments.

Our skilled acupuncturist, Katika Funnell, can tailor a treatment plan based on the type and severity of arthritis, as well as a patient's overall health and preferences.

Acupuncture presents an alternative avenue for managing arthritic conditions, offering relief from pain and improving joint function with minimal risk of side effects. As part of a comprehensive treatment approach, acupuncture can enhance the quality of life for individuals living with arthritis.

Katika Funnell. Doctor of Chinese Medicine, is available Tuesdays and Saturdays by appointment

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