Relieve Arthritis Pain With Acupuncture

Natural arthritis remedies such as acupuncture can be quite effective over the long term when dealing with the chronic pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Prescription medications may help in treating symptoms of arthritis pain, but they can often cause devastating side effects that are worse than the arthritis pain.  Acupuncture for arthritis pain has no such side effects and has been proven effective in clinical studies.

NIH Study on Acupuncture

A study was conducted by the US National Institute of Health on the relationship between acupuncture and the relief of arthritis symptoms. The NIH study found that acupuncture for arthritis can significantly reduce pain and improve function in those suffering osteoarthritis of the knee.  This study is the most detailed clinical trials to date on the effects of acupuncture on arthritic patients. It's findings show that patients who received acupuncture had a 40 percent average decrease in pain as well as a 40 percent increase in function compared to those who received no acupuncture therapy.

The study, jointly conducted by both rheumatologists and acupuncturists, included 570 patients aged 50 and over, with osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients were then randomly selected to receive one of three treatments - acupuncture, a placebo treatment they believed to be acupuncture but was not, or participation in a control group.

"For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size, and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee," said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. "These results also indicate that acupuncture can serve as an effective addition to a standard regimen of care and improve quality of life for knee osteoarthritis sufferers."1

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and has demonstrated good results in the treatment of arthritic pain. Arthritis  and joint pain relief are among the most common uses of acupuncture in Western countries. Those who suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis - caused by the ra factor, as well as other forms of arthritis and gout have received pain relief from acupuncture.

The actual acupuncture procedure involves the use of very thin needles which are inserted into points along the body's energy channels or meridians by an acupuncturist.  Acupunturists believe that these needles remove blockages from these energy channels, and relieve pain caused by the blockages.  For those who have never tried acupuncture, it may seem as though it would be painful to have needles inserted into the skin.  However, most who have experienced it report that there is only a slight sting when the needles are first inserted.  The needles are generally left in the skin for roughly 30 minutes during an acupuncture treatment session. A typical patient with arthritis may need from three to six acupuncture treatment sessions before the arthritic pain is relieved.

Another effective treatment for arthritis pain relief for many people has been using acupuncture in conjunction with infrared heat therapy lamps.

The effectiveness of acupuncture for arthritis pain varies for each individual, it's not possible to predict how much arthritis pain relief you may receive from acupuncture treatment.  It is however definitely worth trying if you are experiencing debilitating arthritic pain.