Are You an Arthritis Sufferer?
Stiff, aching and swollen joints are not uncommon during the cold season. Arthritis sufferers often find that this time of year is most difficult for them and turn to over-the-counter pain medications for temporary relief.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, 1 in 4 people over the age of 18 suffers from some form of arthritis. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which involved the degeneration of cartilage and bone within the joint. It has been estimated that over 30 million adults nationwide and is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated that the participants with osteoarthritis who had received acupuncture experienced a decrease in their pain over time as compared to a group of participants who had not. These results paralleled those observed in similar studies that had been conducted previously.
In 2004, a study conducted at the Center for Integrated Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that after a period of 26 weeks, patients who had been receiving regular sessions of acupuncture not only experienced less pain, but also found their movements to be “less stiff” which allowed them to function better than those who had received a placebo treatment. This was thought to have been attributed to the release of hormones, most notably cortisol, which have a role in managing inflammation within the body. Another more recent study in 2016 used MRI imaging which suggested that acupuncture could also be stimulating cartilage repair in knee osteoarthritis.
Overall, a consultation with a practitioner would consider your symptoms as an individual and a special treatment plan would be created for you. Using a unique approach for every patient increases the likelihood that you will meet with successful outcomes and benefit from your treatments. In the end, you may find that your decision to try acupuncture as an add-on to your regular treatment plan was a life changer.