ACUPUNCTURE AND MASSAGE BENEFICIAL IN TREATMENT OF OSTEOARTHRITIS
According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis, causing more than seven million physician visits per year, second only to cardiovascular disease as the cause of adult chronic disability.
Acupuncture integrated into allopathic health care can relieve knee and hip osteoarthritis pain and improve joint function within three months, a recent study appearing in Arthritis & Rheumatism indicates. The researchers, led by Claudia Witt, M.D., designed the study to reflect general medical practice and was one of the largest acupuncture studies to date. Assessing 3,553 osteoarthritis patients, the researchers compared 322 patients given 15 acupuncture sessions in the initial three-month period with 310 who received no acupuncture for the first three months. A third group of 2,921 patients who did not consent to randomization received the same treatment as the acupuncture group. All patients received primary care.
After the initial three months, the researchers found that those receiving acupuncture experienced less pain and joint stiffness. “Patients with chronic osteoarthritis of the knee or the hip who were treated with acupuncture in addition to routine care showed significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life compared with patients who received routine care alone,” the authors noted.
Recent research has suggested benefits from both acupuncture and massage therapy as osteoarthritis health care modalities. When integrated into allopathic care, complementary and alternative therapies are most important when conventional treatments are far from ideal. Currently available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often not well tolerated by older adults with osteoarthritis. Swedish massage therapy reduces pain and improves joint flexibility in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Patients receiving acupuncture and massage therapy for osteoarthritis conditions demonstrate significant improvements in pain, stiffness and physical functional disability. For more information about acupuncture for treatment of osteoarthritis conditions contact Dr. Richard Browne, Acupuncture Physician, at (305) 595-9500.