Has Acupuncture Been Shown to Help Arthritis?

Has Acupuncture Been Shown to Help Arthritis?

Research has shown that acupuncture can treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. However, patients are advised to not rely on acupuncture to treat a serious condition, says WebMD.

Acupuncture treatments help diminish pain by releasing tight and stressed muscles into their relaxed state, explains Tim Rhudy, a licensed acupuncturist. Additionally, it helps regulate the nervous system, which may trigger the release of internal pain-soothing endorphins.

The advantages of treating arthritis symptoms with acupuncture include that it's drug-free, and therefore one cannot become addicted to it, and it provides immediate information for the acupuncturists so that adjustments in treatment are made instantly. When practiced in a sterile environment, with clean needles and by a qualified practitioner, complications with this treatment are highly unlikely, says WebMD.

Acupuncture is approved by the medical establishment, and there are more than 28,000 licensed practitioners in the United States, as of 2015. In addition, the World Health Organization recognizes numerous problems that can be safely treated with acupuncture, reports WebMD.

Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that aims to correct energetic imbalances in the body. The Chinese refer to this energy as "chi," says WebMD. Acupuncture practitioners use extremely fine needles to stimulate the major energy channels in the body.