Treatment of Arthritis using Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Diagnosis & Treatment of Arthritis with Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have been found to be extremely effective at treating the pain and inflammation associated with all types of arthritis. The acupuncture points and herbs used depend on if the blockage of Qi (arthritis) is caused by the pathogen wind, cold, damp or damp-heat.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize arthritis as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, if 10 patients are treated with Oriental medicine for joint pain, each of these 10 patients will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle and diet recommendations.
Studies on Acupuncture & Arthritis
Several studies have shown that acupuncture can help people with arthritis and related auto-immune diseases. In one Scandinavian study 25 percent of arthritis patients who had been scheduled for knee surgery cancelled their operations after acupuncture treatment. In the study, researchers compared acupuncture with advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip. Thirty-two patients awaiting a total hip replacement were separated into 2 groups. One group received one 10-minute and five 25-minute sessions of acupuncture, and the other group received advice and hip exercises over a 6-week period.
Patients were assessed for pain and functional ability. Patients in the acupuncture group showed significant improvements, while no significant changes were reported in the group that received advice and exercise therapy. The results of this study indicate that acupuncture is more effective than advice and exercise for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip.
Another study at the University of Maryland showed that elderly arthritis patients with knee pain due to arthritis improved significantly when acupuncture was added to their treatment. The randomized clinical trial performed at the University of Maryland School of Medicine determined whether acupuncture was a clinically safe and effective adjunctive therapy for older patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
The study addressed these questions:
Would the addition of acupuncture to conventional therapy produce an added measure of pain relief?
Would the effects of acupuncture last for 4 weeks following the end of treatment?
Would acupuncture have any side effects? 73 patients were randomly divided into 2 groups.
One group received twice-weekly acupuncture treatments and conventional therapy for 8 weeks, and the other group received conventional therapy only. Patients who received acupuncture had significant pain relief and showed improvement in function. Those who did not receive acupuncture showed no significant change.
No patients reported side effects from any acupuncture therapy session.
Safe Alternative to Medication
Even without the studies, the popularity of acupuncture for arthritis continues to grow because more and more people have found significant relief from Oriental Medicine without the negative side effects that come from Western pharmaceuticals.