Acupuncture and Arthritis
Acupuncture is well know for its treatment of pain with one of its most successful applications being in cases of arthritis. The most common form of arthritis seen in an acupuncturist's office is osteoarthritis. In these cases, the cartilage of the joint has been worn down, increasing friction and causing pain and inflammation.
In the West, many osteoarthritis sufferers are given steroids, anti-inflammatories, or painkillers. It's important to note that acupuncture does not simply mask the discomfort like these medications. Instead, acupuncture helps slow the progression of the disease, keeps the arthritic joints healthy and diminishes or takes away the pain in order to support the individual in staying active and strong. In addition, the patient avoids the side effects and damage that long term use of Western drugs tends to have on the body.
Although acupuncture has been proven effective in reducing the pain of arthritis, it should not be used alone. To support the healing process, diet and lifestyle modifications can help heal and preserve what is left of the cartilage in the joint. Herbal medicine and dietary therapy are very important to reduce inflammation and bring about lasting joint health.
Articles and Research
Acupuncture Relieves Pain and Improves Function in Knee Arthritis: NIH, NCCIH
Natural Therapies for Arthritis: Arthritis Foundation
If you would like to learn more about acupuncture and discuss your specific health situation, please phone 403.455.0880. Dr. Wegmann will be happy to answer your questions.
Mitch Wegmann is a registered acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He owns and operates Calgary Acupuncture Centre in the city's southwest quadrant, near the Marda Loop district.