Can Acupuncture Relieve Arthritis Pain?

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To start, let’s review a very basic definition of arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that commonly leads to the experience of pain and/or stiffness. The two most common arthritis diagnoses are:

1. Osteoarthritis (OA):  This essentially means “wear and tear” on the joints.  It is a progressive disorder in which the cartilage of the joint breaks down, causing the joint bones to rub together, decreasing range of motion and resulting in a feeling of pain and stiffness.1

2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): is typically referred to as an “autoimmune disorder” that settles in the joint. This is an inflammatory process in which rheumatoid factors, and antibodies attack other parts of the body’s immune system. It affects the joints, contributes to bone erosion and causes swelling, tenderness, pain, stiffness and nodulation.2

Western medical doctors usually prescribe drugs, particularly NSAIDS, and physical therapy for arthritis.3  Acupuncture treatments may help to relieve symptoms and improve joint function.
Studies continue to validate that acupuncture relieves pain, promotes joint mobility and nourishes the cartilage to keep it from breaking down; In fact, a recent systemic review published in the journal, Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded that:
“Acupuncture alone or combined with other treatment modalities is beneficial to the clinical conditions of RA without adverse effects reported and can improve function and quality of life and is worth trying. Several important possible mechanisms were summarized including anti-inflammatory effect, antioxidative effect, and regulation of immune system function.”4
How do you get started?
Call and schedule an appointment with any Licensed Acupuncturist at Modern Acupuncture. Our goal at is to be affordable, accessible and approachable; we know that no two people’s experience of pain is the same and therefore, treatments are customized to your needs.
Your session will begin with a short health history discussion in our Zen Room and then your acupuncturist will place a few tiny needles in specific locations to encourage circulation, relieve pain and promote your body’s natural healing responses. After the needles are in for twenty minutes, your acupuncturist will return to your zero-gravity massage chair, retrieve the needles and send you off to enjoy your day.
Due to the chronic nature of arthritis pain, a realistic course of treatment would be an acupuncture session every three days for twelve treatments, followed by one session a week for eight weeks and then preventative care for two sessions a month. Everyone’s body reacts differently to acupuncture. Frequency of sessions, your treatment plan and the results you experience will be carefully monitored by your Licensed Acupuncturist and adjustments will be discussed as your body heals.
If arthritis pain is holding you back or keeping you from participating in the activities you love, start your acupuncture treatments with us! We are confident you will fall in love with your local Modern Acupuncture Clinic.
Written By:  Alyssa Johnson L.Ac., Acupuncturist at Modern Acupuncture Westwind Plaza Minnetonka


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