Acupuncture for Arthritis: Does This Natural Treatment for Arthritis Work?

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Acupuncture for Arthritis

Acupuncture is becoming widely known for the many health benefits it can produce. Many are beginning to use acupuncture for arthritis treatment. Chinese doctors believe arthritis is caused from energy in the body that is not properly balanced. Acupuncture uses stainless steel needles inserted into 14 energy-carrying channels. This is believed to rebalance the energy in the body, creating natural treatments for arthritis. Acupuncture have been shown to cause the secretion of endorphins (pain blockers) to naturally decrease pain. When acu-points (nerves) are stimulated, it interrupts pain messages from being delivered to the brain.

Studies have shown acupuncture effectively treats pain, creating a natural remedy for arthritis. Acupuncture for arthritis is a safe alternative to drugs. Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the United States. It is estimated approximately 70 million Americans suffer from a form of arthritis. Arthritis naturally occurs with age as the joints of the body begin to deteriorate. This causes pain and inflammation of the joints.


The most common form of arthritis in the United States is Osteoarthritis. About 21 million adults in the United States suffer from this painful condition. Osteoarthritis is caused from joint and cartilage deterioration resulting in pain and stiffness of the joints. The benefits of acupuncture have shown to produce a natural alternative to cope with the pain caused from this condition.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acupuncture have shown to be a natural remedy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis not only affects the joints of the body but the body’s organs as well. This form of arthritis causes inflammation of the lining in the joints. This results in pain, swelling, and stiffness of the affected areas. Warmth and redness of the Rheumatoid arthritis sites are also a common problem. The joints may begin to lose the ability to move normally and even lose their shape. Rheumatoid arthritis can go into remission and then flare up again. For this reason, acupuncture is very beneficial to decreasing the pain caused from Rheumatoid arthritis.

How It’s Done and What It Feels Like

The process begins with the skin being cleaned with alcohol. Sterile needles are then inserted. The needles can be inserted directly into the pain site or sometimes in other areas. The number of needles used for arthritis treatment can vary along with the depth of the needles as they are inserted. If a large number of needles are needed in one location, they may be inserted into a hypodermic needle. The needles may then be twisted during the treatment and electrically energized. This creates a warming effect which intensifies the benefits of the treatment. The needles can remain in place for only a few minutes to an hour.

When the acupuncture needles are inserted, the pain level of the insertion is normally the same as receiving a shot. The most common discomfort of the needles being in place is numbness and tingling. Sometimes the discomfort level can increase to soreness and heaviness at the insertion site. When acupuncture is used for arthritis treatment, it is usually required twice a week. By the first treatment, pain relief is already noticeable but it may take more than one treatment before the benefits completely take effect.


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“Acupuncture for Arthritis”, March 1, 2007

“Acupuncture for Arthritis” By Diane Joswick, L.Ac, MSOM 2008