One of the commonest reasons for people to try acupuncture is for pain relief of arthritis. Acupuncture may be very helpful in reducing joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, and the improvement is usually long lasting.
In the clinic the most important part of our treatment for this condition over the past 30 years has been ‘no needle’ electroacupuncture, which often proves to be the answer even in patients with longstanding pain. You can experience the same benefits with our Treatment.
Studying the brains of people having acupuncture and electroacupuncture for chronic pain and arthritis using MRI, has demonstrated that these techniques modify or modulate areas of the brain which are involved in processing pain and anxiety and responses to inflammation - all of which have a part to play in arthritis.
The main reason that steroids are prescribed in many types of arthritis is to reduce inflammation. Both acupuncture and electroacupuncture have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, but of course stimulating the body's own healing responses and anti-inflammatory pathways like this avoids any of the side effects of using steroids.
We found in our clinic that acupuncture and ‘no needle’ electroacupuncture where particularly effective in osteoarthritis of the knee and in many cases it will be possible to avoid what might seem to be an inevitable progression to surgery - we are always pleased when we can achieve this. A study carried out in Denmark found that a quarter of patients with severe knee arthritis were able to take themselves off the waiting list for a knee replacement, because they improved so much with a short course of acupuncture. (1)
More recently, research has increasingly focused on stimulating the Vagus Nerve using electroacupuncture with surface electrodes and this recent development is another way that we can trigger one of the body’s own healing pathways to reduce inflammation and pain.(2)
(1) Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (1992) 36:519-25
(2) The Inflammatory Reflex and the Role of Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies. Oke SL.Tracey KJ Ann. NY Ac Sci (2009) 1172, 172-80