ARTHRITIS - How Acupuncture Can Help
If you live with arthritis, you know what a challenge it can be to find relief from joint pain and other symptoms. But there are many things you can do to manage and control your arthritis and live a healthy active life. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be a powerful addition to any treatment plan, without causing harmful side effects.
Arthritis according to Western Medicine Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 21 million Americans and many more world-wide. It occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, usually affecting the hips hands, knees, low back. or neck.
Some factors can increase your risk: a joint injury, being overweight, aging, repetitive motion and genetics.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another type, affecting 2.1 million people in the United States. This chronic condition occurs when the lining of
the joints becomes inflamed, and can lead to long-term joint damage and even loss of movement. Women are two to three times more likely to get RA.
RA often starts in the hands or feet, and usually affects the same joints on both sides of the body.
Warm, swollen or tender joints
Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
Flu-like symptoms such as fever
Muscle pain and weakness
There is no "quick fix” for arthritis and it may take time to achieve results.
However, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help you find relief faster. By excersizing regularly, sticking to a healthy diet, and taking steps to de-stress you can help alleviate symptoms. Try alternating heat and cold for pain relief. Heat treatments such as warm baths or heat pads, soothe stiff joints and tired muscles.
Treatment options Western treatment generally focuses on relieving pain and preventing further joint damage. Often this is done through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications, as well as self-care and physical therapy. in some cases, surgery may even be needed.
Acupuncture offers a safe, natural way to control joint pain and other symptoms and maintain overall health. in fact, a 2004 study showed that patients with of the knee experienced a 40 percent decrease in pain and a 40 percent increase in function after receiving a series of acupuncture treatments.
A whole-body approach to relief Acupuncture and TCM take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. According to these theories, Oi (pronounced "chee") is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. lt flows through pathways called meridians, providing nourishment for every cell, tissue, muscle and organ. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms may result.
Your practitioner will take a detailed health history and perform a physical exam to determine your body's imbalances. He or she will create a detailed treatment plan that takes into account your unique symptoms and the effects of your arthritis.
During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians in order to remove any obstruction and allow to flow freely.
Your practitioner may also recommend herbal remedies, massage, and stretching. Be sure to discuss any new medications with your acupuncturist and persons! care provider to avoid any potential interactions.
By working closely with your acupuncturist and other care providers, you will be taking charge of your arthritis and taking steps toward a healthier life.