Osteoarthritis is a “wear and tear” disorder, meaning that active joints degenerate over time as a result of use. Common symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased mobility. Arthritis will often impact the fingers, big toes, neck, low back, hips, knees, and spine.
Most people begin to develop osteoarthritis in their teens and twenties; in fact, almost everyone has some joint degeneration by age 40. However, symptoms are very slow to develop, and most people don’t develop arthritis problems until their 50s or later. When treating osteoarthritis, it is important to rule out other causes, such as rheumatoid arthritis. This can be done with a clinical evaluation of signs and symptoms, and, if needed, an x-ray image to view the painful joint.
Acupuncture can be extremely beneficial for managing osteoarthritis symptoms. Although the joint deterioration that occurs with osteoarthritis cannot be reversed or cured by acupuncture, acupuncture and herbal therapies can significantly reduce pain and inflammation while increasing range of motion. Clinically I have worked with numerous patients suffering from severe, debilitating pain and impaired mobility as a result of arthritis, and regular acupuncture treatments have improved their quality of life by reducing the pain to a very low level and allowing for greater range of motion in the impacted joints.
There are a few treatment options for osteoarthritis in standard care. Drugs such as strong painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications are sometimes used to help manage the pain, but these must be taken long term, and there are potential side effects. Joint replacement therapy is a surgical option that may be appropriate for some patients with severe osteoarthritis in weight-bearing joints like the hip or knee. However, this is an expensive and invasive procedure, and it may not be appropriate for many osteoarthritis patients.
As an acupuncturist, I have found that acupuncture, herbs, and lifestyle changes can make osteoarthritis a manageable condition. I educate my patients on exercises, dietary modifications, and patterns for use and rest so that my patients have the tools to live with their arthritis with little pain and LOTS of lifelong flexibility.
If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture for your arthritis symptoms, I invite you to contact me at All and One Acupuncture for a free consultation at 503-281-6909 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 503-281-6909 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.end_of_the_skype_highlighting