The hands of an old person.

Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis

Old hands, possibly with arthritis.Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition where the protective cartilage around the ends of bones in a joint wears down. The wearing process causes pain in many ways – typically when cartilage frays, or when the bones themselves begin to grind together. This condition is the most common form of arthritis, though others do exist (we have talked about rheumatoid arthritis in an earlier post). In conventional treatment there is considered to be no cure for the condition; it is often managed with weight & exercise adjustments, dietary changes, and pain medication.

Fortunately, pain management is one of acupuncture’s crown specialties. Using acupuncture to treat osteoarthritis has been studied a lot in scientific research, and studies are very positive.

In our clinic, we see a lot of arthritis and other chronic joint pain. Typically most pain we see is due to problems with the soft tissue – muscles and fascia that have adhered to cause dull & radiating pain. It’s when a person’s movement is poor and they have persistent soft tissue changes that arthritis comes into play.

Conventional medicine says there is no cure for osteoarthritis, and they are correct in the sense that once cartilage is gone or bones have deformed, there’s not really a way to go back. But that doesn’t mean a person has to remain in pain. We very regularly see people who have arthritic changes in their joints end up pain-free after treatment with acupuncture. Relief for these patients can last 3-4 weeks (at which point they may need a check-in visit), and for some it resolves to a near-permanent basis.

Of course, there are also patients whose joints have degenerated so badly that no amount of acupuncture will help them. We can identify these patients quickly – typically there is absolutely no relief after 2-3 treatments. In this case surgery or other more invasive therapies are appropriate. For the patients with arthritis that come to see us, only about 10-20% fall into this category.

If you have been dealing with arthritis and are looking for options to stay moving and healthy, there’s no need to wait. Schedule your consultation to get relief!