Relieve Arthritis Pain with Acupuncture
Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. More than 52.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with this disorder between 2010 and 2012. It is estimated that approximately 78 million U.S. adults will develop some form of arthritis by 2040. The risk is higher in those who are obese or overweight. Even though arthritis can not be cured, there are ways to reduce its symptoms and ease pain. Acupuncture has proven to be effective for pain management in arthritis patients.
Can Acupuncture Ease Arthritis Symptoms?
Most people suffering from arthritis experience debilitating pain in the knees, back, wrists, and joints. Their symptoms are often accompanied by swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion, fatigue, and low energy. Tiredness and fatigue may be caused by the body’s reaction to medications or inflammation.
Over time, arthritis limits your ability to move and perform your daily tasks. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may experience joint stiffness, poor mobility, limping, mood swings, sleep problems, or depression. Loss of joint function is common too, especially in seniors. Unfortunately, medications can only relieve pain on short term.
A growing body of research confirms the benefits of acupuncture in arthritis treatment. This centuries-old practice increases endorphin levels in the brain, which helps reduce the perception of pain. In the long run, it may also relieve joint swelling and ease fibromyalgia symptoms. The evidence is promising, even though more research is needed.
Is Acupuncture Really Effective?
This therapy involves inserting tiny needles into your skin. Most patients need about three to six sessions to get noticeable results. Some experience pain relief from the first sessions. According to scientists, acupuncture eases arthritis symptoms by lowering vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). These chemicals have been linked to chronic inflammation.
Other studies suggest that acupuncture reduces C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), which are inflammatory markers in the human body. Moreover, it improves quality of sleep and relieves depression. The key is to find a skilled therapist with experience in treating arthritis patients.