Acupuncture for Arthritis

 

 

Are you or anyone you love suffering from Osteoarthritis? Do you or someone you love gulp down NSAIDs and other pain reducers trying to ease the discomfort of aching knees, fingers, hips, back, elbows, feet and neck?

It can be tiresome when there is chronic pain without relief and the medications just don’t seem to do the trick. There has been considerable research done by specialists looking for treatments for OA or RA that are side effect free and effective.  Many researchers have turned the light on Acupuncture and Herbal formulas based in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an effective treatment for RA and OA 50% of the time or greater. We happen to agree with them and wanted you to hear from us on the subject.

In one article, a Pain Specialist Doctor, James N. Dillard, MD, comments on the effectiveness of Acupuncture by stating that “Acupuncture doesn’t work for everyone, but slightly more than half of patients with moderate OA will experience some benefit,”  *[James N. Dillard, MD]. In the Same article you can find that Dr. Dillard is the former medical director of Columbia University’s Rosenthal Center for Complimentary Medicine and Alternative Medicine in NYC. He based his professional opinion of Acupuncture and its treatment of Osteoarthritis on years of practice and some supporting studies. Dr. Dillard further comments “It’s incredibly safe,” [and] “The adverse side effects a patient may have with those drugs are way, way worse.”[James N. Dillard, MD] Since Acupuncture does not have side effects like NSAIDs and other anti-inflammatory drugs, and there are no other known serious side effects, it is a very safe alternative to typical therapeutic methods.

So how does Acupuncture work to treat arthritis? Well, do you want the Traditional Chinese Medicine answer or the Western Medicine Answer?  A little bit of both may solve the mystery perhaps. In Western Medical terms the insertion of Acupuncture needles into specific points in the body cause a series of chemical events in the body wherein neurotransmitters release endorphines and enkephalins that have pain reducing properties. The insertion of the Acupuncture needle also causes the body to release cortisol which is an anti-inflammatory. The result is a reduction in pain and inflammation.

Boy, is that a mouthful for the non-medical populations? Well, in TCM Acupuncture circulates the the Qi in areas that are inflamed. Also, in cases of arthritis, Acupuncturists look at OA in several different ways,  wet arthritis and dry arthritis are two types of the many. In the case that arthritis causes swelling, edema and painful irritation, there is dampness and the Acupuncture Doctor needs to dry out the area by releasing the dampness, and allow for free flow of Qi. This would be a case of wet arthritis. In Dry Osteoarthritis, there is pain without swelling and the cause is a more degenerative type of arthritis without swelling and edema, and the treatment would include nourishing the joints with the Acupuncture treatment.  There are other forms of arthritis that Acupuncture can treat also. The Doctor needs to diagnose the root cause of your arthritis (which is different for each individual) to determine how we can help you.

In closing, it cannot be denied that Acupuncture helps with arthritis, and it is our opinion that for arthritis, our services are over 80% effective in reducing pain in our patients.Though we discussed mostly Osteoarthritis, Acupuncture and Herbal Therapy can also treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, or other forms.  Also, we would like to comment that Acupuncture is limited like any medical system, and there are exceptions to its effectiveness. One such exception to the effectiveness of Acupuncture for arthritis, is if there is no cartilage left in the effected joint.  In this case, Acupuncture may help manage your pain, but it is best that you consult a primary care physician for knee replacement. However, if the arthritis is not so far gone, acupuncture is the best treatment without medication available.

Though Acupuncture is the best treatment for arthritis, we would like to add some tips that can help with your arthritis pain naturally. There are several foods that studies show help with pain reduction for arthritis. Some of these foods are Turmeric, Fish Oil, Ginger, and Chile Peppers or things containing capsaicin (as long as you do not have any digestive issues like acid reflux). There are many other herbs such as Ru Xiang and Gou Teng that we can prescribe for you with a diagnosis and treatment if they are good for your constitution to help you with your pain as well. These herbs are all natural and do not have negative side effects like some medications may. We would be glad to answer any and all questions  and schedule an appointment for you!  If you want to feel better, give us a call, so we can begin your treatments.

 

” A healthy and stress free life is our ultimate goal!” 

Jun’s Acupuncture

 

For more information about Acupuncture and Pain Management, check out our webpage.

http://www.drjunsacu.com/services/pain-control

*[http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/other-therapies/mind-body-pain-relief/oa-acupuncture.php (Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis,Timothy Gower)]