How effective is acupuncture for arthritis?

According to the NHS, more than 10 million people suffer from arthritis or similar joint conditions in the UK. That figure includes people of all ages, from children to elderly adults, and a rising number of cases has prompted many people to seek alternative therapies like acupuncture to manage the condition.

How can acupuncture help arthritis sufferers?

Acupuncture for arthritis has become increasingly popular, particularly for sufferers of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – the two most common types of arthritis.

Acupuncture seeks to curb the pain and inflammation of the joints caused by arthritis by suppressing the body’s inflammatory response, improving blood flow, and relaxing muscle tone. This is done by stimulating specific acupoints across the body, activiating its natural healing responses.

Acupuncture can also help relieve the pain caused by arthritis by boosting the body’s natural pain relief response through the release of endorphins. Patients who receive regular acupuncture will often report feeling relief from pain, more relaxed and calm – both physically and mentally – after their acupuncture session.

How often should you get acupuncture for arthritis?

Every patient is different, and therefore their acupuncture treatment will need to be tailored to their specific needs.

Before starting sessions, your acupuncture practitioner will discuss your arthritis symptoms, any concerns you have, your lifestyle, and your expectations from the sessions. From here, they will be able to advise you on how many sessions, together with their frequency, that they recommend.

Most patients who seek out acupuncture for arthritis tend to have one or two sessions a week, lasting between 10 to 45 minutes. Once the needles have been inserted, they are generally left for 20 minutes and gently stimulated throughout this time.

Some patients will experience immediate pain relief after a single session, while others will require several before they start to notice the effects. Whether it is for arthritis or any other ailment, it is always recommended to have regular and consistent acupuncture sessions to feel the full benefit.

What are the acupuncture points for arthritis?

There is a range of acupuncture points that practitioners will use to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

Different patients will experience symptoms to varying degrees, and therefore the acupoints targeted will change based on the patient’s needs.

There is, however, a selection of key points that are commonly targeted, such as:

Quchi (LI11) Found near the elbow crease, this point can help reduce pain and inflammation and improve blood circulation.

Hegu (LI4) Found in the middle of the second metacarpal bone on the radial side, helps improve immunity, relieve chronic pain, and improve blood circulation.

Zusanli (ST36) Located below the knee, this point helps the body fight low immunity, chronic illness and helps build and maintain overall health.

Yanglingquan (GB34) Located on the side of the leg below the knee, this point help to treat soft tissue anywhere in the body, sciatica and issues with the low back, hip, a/or lower limbs, knees and any lateral body issues.

Does acupuncture really work for arthritis?

Recent studies have shown positive and consistent results for using acupuncture to help with the effects of arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation has even detailed the effects of acupuncture on its website and notes that although research is ongoing, there is: “promising evidence that acupuncture can help with arthritis symptoms”.

If you would like to learn more about the acupuncture for arthritis therapies we offer at Acupuncture That Works, feel free to visit our website or get in touch with us today on 0800 051 76 88.