Acupuncture and Arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are many different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis. The joint range of motion may also decrease, and there might be redness of the skin around the joint. Many people with arthritis notice their symptoms are worse in the morning. The symptoms of arthritis usually develop over time, but they may also appear suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. Arthritis is more common in women than men and in people who are overweight. The two main types of arthritis — osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis — damage joints in different ways.
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to the joint's cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones where they form a joint. Cartilage cushions the ends of the bones and allows nearly frictionless joint motion, but enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
Osteoarthritis also affects the entire joint. It causes changes in the bones and deterioration of the connective tissues that attach muscle to bone and hold the joint together. It also causes inflammation of the joint lining.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining (synovial membrane) becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
The goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain the patient is experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints. To achieve this, medical doctors often use anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications. In some cases, surgery may even be needed.
If you live with arthritis, you know what a challenge it can be to find relief from joint pain and other symptoms, but there are many things you can do to manage and control your arthritis and live a healthy, active life. Acupuncture and TCM can be a powerful addition to any treatment plan, without causing harmful side effects. Acupuncture reduces pain levels and increases mobility.
At Gathered Roots Acupuncture Clinic we will make a treatment plan for you to release blocked energy and correct imbalances in your body, to release your stress and control your pain and your other symptoms. The treatment is weekly for at least 12-15 weeks and some people might need longer treatment depending on the severity of their symptoms.