Acupuncture for Arthritis Treatment

Although many people refer to arthritis as one single condition, it is actually a term used to describe more than 100 medical conditions affecting the joints. Osteoarthritis, which is caused by the breakdown of cartilage around a joint, is probably the most well-known type of arthritis, but rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and related diseases also cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. If you have any of these problems, acupuncture is a treatment option.

Signs and Symptoms

Because there are so many different forms of arthritis, your symptoms may not be the same as the ones affecting another person with arthritis. These are the most common signs and symptoms:

  • Joint pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion

Who is at Risk?

There are several risk factors for arthritis. Some of them are modifiable, which means you can make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing the condition. Others cannot be modified. Modifiable risk factors include obesity, chronic infections, joint injuries, and jobs involving frequent squatting or bending. The risk factors you cannot change are your gender, age, and genetic history.

What Causes Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is caused by damage to your cartilage, which cushions the ends of the bones so they do not rub against each other. If the cartilage wears away, the bones grind together, causing pain. The pain may even limit your ability to move the joint. Many people develop osteoarthritis as they age, but joint injuries and infections can hasten the development of this condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack the lining of the membrane that encloses all the parts of your joints. As a result, the lining swells and becomes inflamed. Chronic inflammation destroys cartilage and may even destroy the bones in the joint.

Acupuncture for Arthritis Treatment

If you are hesitant to take steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs for your arthritis treatment, acupuncture is a viable alternative. This treatment stimulates your body’s energy channels and relieves pain by stimulating the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that decrease pain and help you relax.

Clinical Evidence

A study from China shows that acupuncture is effective at relieving the tenderness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. German researchers have also studied the use of acupuncture to treat osteoarthritis. The large study had more than 300,000 participants with osteoarthritis in their knees. The participants who received 15 acupuncture sessions in addition to their standard medical care had improved quality of life, less pain, and less stiffness than the people who did not have acupuncture. Best of all, the improvements lasted a minimum of three months after the acupuncture treatments ended.

Customized Treatment Plans

No two people are exactly alike, so it doesn’t make sense to treat everyone the same way. We’ll ask you about your symptoms and customize a plan to reduce stiffness, pain, and swelling. If herbal medicines or dietary changes are appropriate, we will also recommend the best alternative arthritis treatment for you.

Relief from Pain

Chronic pain makes it difficult to enjoy your favorite activities, disrupts your sleep, and makes it harder to earn a living. If you need help managing your arthritis symptoms, contact Acupuncture Balanced Health to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced practitioners.