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Acupuncture Highly effective for osteoarthritis

The use of acupuncture in the treatment of Osteoarthritis has been found to have significant benefits without the side effects of conventional treatments

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints where the cushioning material known as cartilage gradually breaks down resulting in direct bone-to-bone contact. The condition results in pain and stiffness of the affected joints and is more prevalent over 45 years of age.

In 2010 statistics estimates of the most commonly affected joints being knee and hip suggest osteoarthritis to be the 11th highest contributor to global disability. Reference

Current treatment of osteoarthritis using anti-inflammatory medications can have significant side effects including heart attacks and stomach ulcers. Reference

As such finding effective treatment that has no major side effects is an ideal solution.

A review of 12 randomised control trials in pain management of osteoarthritis in 2014 found significant:

  • Reduction in pain intensity
  • Improvement of mobility
  • Improved health-related quality of life

Pain reduction after treatment was found to last for periods longer than 4 weeks.

Reference

Whilst trials reviewed were seen to have some potential risk of bias the level of improvement suggests a definite impact on the areas discussed using acupuncture treatment. Further research is warranted to ensure a greater clarity as to the true level of benefit.

Acupuncture is increasingly being proven to have significant impact in the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Without the risk of side effects present in other treatment methods it is a legitimate option to be considered in the treatment pain. For more information on how acupuncture may be able to treat pain conditions contact your state based or national acupuncture association.

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