Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Can Acupuncture Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

What Happens During A Session

Acupuncture & Health : Acupuncture & Rheumatoid Arthritis

The person who treats you is called an acupuncturist. Theyâll swab each area with alcohol before tapping a very thin needle into the site. The number of needles youâll get, where theyâre placed, and how deeply theyâre inserted depends upon your particular case.

The needles will stay in place for several minutes to an hour. The acupuncturist may adjust, warm, or electrically energize them to intensify the effect. You may feel some tingling if electricity is used. It should be mild, and you can ask your acupuncturist to dial it down at any time.

You may need to get more than one session.

Summary Of Dr Mengs Presentation At The Early Ra Support And Education Workshop On May 16 2012

is a chronic, inflammatory systemic illness that affects the whole body, especially the joints. It is also an , which means that the immune system in the body, usually responsible for fighting off infections, also mistakenly begins to attack healthy tissue.

One of the most common symptoms of RA is joint pain. People suffering from pain conditions, such as RA-related joint pain, may be interested in trying acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is not a cure for RA, but it may provide some temporary relief of RA-related joint pain.

What Are Some Natural And Safe Treatment Options For People With Ra

There are so many natural things you can do to effectively control inflammation: Diet, staying active, controlling stress, and acupuncture.

The first being diet. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can dramatically cut inflammation and lead to less joint inflammation, improved brain and cardiovascular health, and just overall wellness! The anti-inflammatory diet eliminates sugar, processed foods, sodas, and fried fatty foods and centers on a whole foods based diet. High quality proteins, veggies, low glycemic fruits, adequate water, and good fats.

Staying active is also beneficial at helping to promote healing and reducing RA symptoms. In fact, pain associated with RA often is worse after periods of inactivity. Exercise can also help to control stress. As we know now, stress is often the initial spark that fuels the inflammation. Therefore making daily mindset and stress reducing practices an integral part of your routine can help to keep stress and inflammation at bay. Consider activities such as yoga, mindfulness practices like meditation, and participating in group exercise activities.

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Is Acupuncture For Arthritis Effective For All Forms Of Arthritis

The technique of acupuncture came into being around 2000 years ago. At first, it didnt receive any adequate attention to be recognized as a medical treatment to various problems associated with the body, but recently the scenario has changed.

There is a significant number of acupuncturists available out there. The researchers believe that arthritis can be cured using acupuncture, and their resources back their claims.

Acupuncture diminishes pain by untying muscular straitjackets releasing tight, spasmed, shortened muscles to their resting state, explains Tim Rhudy, who practices as a professional acupuncturist in Delmar, New York for years now.

Some doctors describe Acupuncture as a result of a placebo effect which involves false assurance given to the brain due to some surrounding changes, without causing any actual change in the body. It doesnt affect the body, so theres no harm in giving it a go. It can be used to cure arthritis in the knees, arthritis in the hands, etc.

What Causes Joint Pain


Arthritis is one of the most common joint ailments, affecting over 54 million adults in the United States. Caused by a swelling of the joints, it can range from bothersome to extremely painful and can be a hindrance to everyday activities. Joint pain is often associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis RA, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, joint injuries, and cases of chronic inflammatory conditions.

Arthritis, along with other types of joint health issues, can be one of the most life-altering conditions to live withbecause it can hinder everything from ones ability to get regular exercise to how much someone can go to work.

Thankfully, applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine , naturopathic medicine, and acupuncture can be amazingly helpful as arthritis treatments and general joint health maintenance protocol.

Various studies, including one by the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, found that patients felt significantly less pain and had an easier time walking after receiving legitimate acupuncture treatments.

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Clinical And Laboratory Assessment

Assessments at baseline, 5, 10, 15, 20 weeks included clinical and laboratory assessment. Clinical assessment included visual analogue scale for pain , the number of swollen and tender joints, patient’s global assessment, a validated version of the Chinese Health Assessment Questionnaire and the physician’s global assessment which was done by a blinded physician who performed all examinations and assessments throughout the entire study period.

Laboratory assays including complete blood count, blood chemistry, urinalysis, and liver function tests, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein were performed at each visit and potential adverse events were assessed by using open-ended questions at each study visit.

Acupuncture For Pain Relief: What The Research Says

Acupuncture seems to be helpful for pain in general, but does it work for the pain and discomfort that comes with rheumatoid arthritis?

Its a good question and, unfortunately, one without a clear answer. The scientific research shows mixed results for the use of acupuncture to treat RA pain. Some of the disparity stems from investigative research shortfalls, such as lack of quality or an insufficient number of people in the studies. A review published in September 2008 in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism compared randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for RA pain relief, and found that six studies reported a decrease in pain compared with controls, five showed a reduction in ESR , and three found a lowering of CRP . Despite some favorable results, the researchers concluded that there was conflicting evidence in those studies that used a placebo group.

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What To Expect When You Have Acupuncture

In your first appointment, the practitioner will it take a medical history and likely do a physical exam. To receive the treatment, you will lie down, possibly remove your clothes, and put on a gown. The acupuncturist will insert sterile needles into various points in your body, some in different areas than where your symptoms are. Some acupuncturist also use a slight electrical current attached to the needles. The needles will be left in for up to 20 minutes, during which time you will lie still and relax.

Can Acupuncture Help With My Arthritis Pain

Rheumatoid Arthritis – Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture

If you have arthritis, you are probably very aware of the pain and inflammation in your joints and body that is caused by this chronic condition. It may increase during a flare and then subside at other times, but for most people with this chronic pain, it never entirely disappears. Medications, rest, exercise may all be part of your arsenal to help treat your pain. One option that you may not have considered yet is acupuncture. It has taken some time, but acupuncture is slowly becoming mainstream in the treatment of arthritis and providing one more option to help with the pain. The research results are coming in and helping to answer the question can acupuncture help with my arthritis pain?

In existence over 2000 years, acupuncture addresses the blocks that occur in the flow of energy throughout the body. Energy flows through 20 pathways, called meridians. When blockages occur in the meridians, illness and pain can result. Acupuncture involves the placement of tiny needles at precise points in the body near nerves where the blockages occur. The insertion of needles causes a release of chemicals called endorphins that block the pain message from being delivered to the brain. Acupuncture is known for restoring the balance in the flow of energy or life force, called Qi .

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Seattle Tacoma & Bellevue Clinics

Whether you have been dealing with joint pain for years, or have a recent diagnosis of one of the many different types of arthritis, acupuncture is there to help.

Feeling the pains of arthritis? So are 54 million Americans. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it is the leading cause of disability in the US, and can make daily activities excruciating and full of pain. Luckily, acupuncture has been shown to help reduce arthritis pain naturally.

Arthritis describes over 100 types of diseases that affect the joints and cause pain all over the body. Common signs and symptoms include joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, as well as fatigue and even rashes. While some types are confined to a localized joint, others can affect the whole body. There are many types of treatments for arthritis, and acupuncture has been shown to be one of them.

Studies Havent Confirmed Acupuncture Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis But It Is It Worth Trying

The word “acupuncture” is derived from the Latin words “acus” and “punctura” . Acupuncture originated in China approximately 2000 years ago and is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world.

There is limited evidence about the effectiveness of acupuncture in RA.

Multiple physiologic models have been put forward to explain the effects of acupuncture however, the data to support these have not been enough to state with certainty how acupuncture works. The theory of acupuncture goes something like this: An essential life energy called qi flows through the body along 20 invisible channels called meridians. When the flow of this energy is blocked or out of balance, illness or pain results. More than 2,000 acupuncture points connect to the meridians. Stimulating those points with needles, it is said, will correct the flow of qi and alleviate pain.

One theory is that acupuncture untyes muscular straitjackets releasing tight, spasmed, shortened muscles to their resting state, Another theory is that pain relief is partially due to stimulating the release of natural pain-fighting endorphins. At this stage, these are still theories and we dont know exactly how acupuncture works.

Studies on acupuncture for RA have largely been of poor quality. They havent been able to prove the treatment offers any significant improvement in joint swelling, damage, or other markers of disease activity. However, one study showed that acupuncture may help certain people with their pain.

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Healing Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine has helped to restore harmony to the body and correct imbalance for centuries. In TCM, arthritis is categorized as a type of blockage in the smooth flow of qi and blood throughout the body. When the pathways are blocked, the obstruction causes pain and reduced range of motion. Chinese medicine calls these painful obstruction syndromes, bi syndrome or bone bi diagnosis.

Bi syndromes are environmental diagnoses. Outside factors penetrate the bodys defenses and lodge deep in the muscles, tendons and joints such as wind, cold, heat and/or dampness. Rheumatoid Arthritis presents as a damp-heat pattern bi syndrome characterized by pain, soreness and swelling and can result when a wind-, cold- or damp- pattern bi syndrome causes reduced flow of qi and blood through a joint.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Acupuncture For Arthritis

Acupuncture for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Benefits and Risks

The use of acupuncture for arthritis has suffered a lot of criticism from the skeptics. However, there is some limited, but fairly strong evidence that it can help cure arthritis. Various studies have been conducted which show that acupuncture is very effective in dealing with arthritis pain without any side effects. The needles used to carry out the process are very easy to insert.

The people who practice the ancient technique of acupuncture have a considerable amount of knowledge about the various pressure points where a particular needle must be inserted so that the patient feels no pain.

The needles can be placed anywhere over the whole body. It is not necessary to insert the needle at the point where the pain is experienced. People who practice acupuncture may insert needles in a persons arms, legs, knees, shoulders, and elsewhere.

Focusing on these points has a great ability to reduce inflammation, and hence increase endorphins. All of this causes excellent relaxation in the body. People can even fall asleep during these sessions its that relieving.

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Approach To Literature Search

A MEDLINE search was conducted as follows: explode âacupunctureâ or explode âacupuncture analgesiaâ or explode âacupuncture therapyâ or explode âacupuncture pointsâ or âacupuncture.mpâ explode âosteoarthritisâor explode âosteoarthritis, kneeâ or âosteoarthritis.mpâ explode âKneeâ or explode âknee jointâ or âknee.mpâ . Combining these 3 searches together yielded 68 citations.

CINAHL was also searched as follows: explode âacupunctureâ or explode âacupuncture analgesiaâor explode âacupuncture anesthesiaâ or explode âacupuncture pointsâ or âacupuncture.mpâ explode âosteoarthritisâ or âosteoarthritis.mpâ explode âKneeâ or explode âknee jointâ or âknee.mpâ . Combining these 3 searches together resulted in 47 citations.

Titles, abstracts, and publication types of the 115 citations were scanned to determine which of these articles were applicable for this review. Bibliographies from retrieved articles were searched for relevant studies that might have been missed by the database searches.

Details Of Acupuncture Protocols

The details of the acupuncture protocol are summarized in . The following describes the detailed items summarized in the table:

Intervention type: traditional acupuncture with different manual techniques, laser acupuncture, electroacupuncture, buccal acupuncture, auricular electroacupuncture, warm needling with or without moxibustion, and acupoint stimulation with herbs.

Modalities used for control or combined therapy: oral or injected form of Western medication, reflexology, moxibustion, herb steaming, massage, mud and sauna therapy, sham acupuncture, autogenic training, herb iontophoresis, oral use of herbs, and electromagnetic millimeter wave.

Treatment frequency/duration and follow-up period of each research summarized in detail as shown in .

Wang et al. used the same acupuncture protocol but compared the treatment efficacy for 3 and 6 courses .

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How To Find An Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is no longer just provided by doctors of traditional Chinese medicine, but also by many other types of health care providers. This includes naturopaths, chiropractors, physical therapists, medical doctors, nurse practitioners, and more. Look for someone who is licensed under your states regulations, has experience working with your condition, and ideally, comes recommended by someone you trust.

Studies Show Moxibustion & Acupuncture Combo Treatment Increases Positive Patient Outcome Significantly

find relief from rheumatoid arthritis with acupressure

Research published in the Jilin Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and reported on the Healthcare Medicine Institutes Acupuncture Continuing Education website found that, when combined, moxibustion and acupuncture had an 83.3% total effective rate for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. While both forms of treatment show positive results, together they were found to be more effective.

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Acupuncture Helps Osteoarthritis Pain

While osteoarthritis differs from rheumatoid arthritis, people living with RA may experience osteoarthritis pain. RA-induced damage to cartilage makes people with RA susceptible to developing secondary osteoarthritis in the weight-bearing joints. In other words, the joints of people with RA are more vulnerable to wear and tear compared with those without RA. According to a review of research published in January 2010 in the Cochrane Library, acupuncture may lead to small improvements in pain and physical function in people with osteoarthritis after eight or more weeks of treatment.

The Cost Of Acupuncture

Typical fees for acupuncture can be as high as $100 for the first consultation, with follow-up visits around $50-70. This can become quite expensive, especially since acupuncture treatment usually consists of several treatments. When you have a chronic illness, such as RA, acupuncture treatment may even be ongoing in order to have the best effects. Not all insurance plans cover acupuncture, so make sure you check before you make an appointment.

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How Does Acupuncture Feel

Aside from possibly a small pinch, you should not feel anything when the acupuncture needles are inserted. While the needles are in, you may start to feel very relaxed or sleepy go with it. The more you can help your body relax, the better the treatment might work. Afterward, the feeling of relaxation and lowered pain levels will continue for several days or more. Very rarely, a treatment can make you feel more pain. If thats the case, make sure to mention it to your practitioner so they can adjust the treatment accordingly.

How A Typical Session Works

Acupuncture for Arthritis: Benefits and Risks

During your first acupuncture treatment, you will be taken into a private room to discuss your medical history with your acupuncturist and what joints and areas of your body are in pain. After a brief physical exam, you will lie down on a treatment table so that your acupuncturist can insert needles into specific points.

You may lie face up or face down depending on what areas of your body your acupuncturist needs to access. It is best to wear loose clothing that can be rolled up or moved out of the way so that the acupuncturist can easily access different areas of your body. Depending on what areas of your body need to be accessed, you may be asked to change into a gown.

Your acupuncturist will use alcohol swabs to disinfect the skin before placing needles in various points throughout your body. The needles are made of stainless steel and are at least 10 times thinner than medical needles used for vaccines or drawing blood.

Because of this, needle insertion is often painless, especially in thicker areas of the body. You may feel a slight pinch in more sensitive areas like the hands and feet where the skin is thin, but needle insertion should be comfortable and well tolerated without significant pain.

If you are going for electroacupuncture, your acupuncturist will pass a mild electric current through the needles, usually 40 to 80 volts.

After your treatment is finished, your acupuncturist will remove all of the needles and dispose of them.

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