Acupuncture as an alternative to medication for arthritis and pain
by Dr. Steven Cooner —
Acupuncture has successfully managed patients’ arthritis pain and related symptoms for centuries, with no adverse side effects, only benefits. It is a wonderful alternative to some of the controversial medicines on the market today.
The term arthritis means inflammation of the joints, and it usually involves pain, stiffness and limitation of function. Rheumatism is another name for it.
There are two major types of arthritis: inflammatory and degenerative. Inflammatory arthritis is associated with infections, rheumatoid arthritis and connective disorders. Degenerative arthritis, which may result from injury, malnutrition and limited capacity of the articular cartilaginous surface to repair itself, includes osteoarthritis and hypertrophic arthritis. Gout is a form of arthritis that, in cases of persistent gouty arthritis, is basically a metabolic disorder.
Most types of arthritis tend to be relentlessly progressive, with increasing joint destruction, pain and limitation of movement.
Acupuncture can relieve the unpleasant symptoms of arthritis. After receiving a series of acupuncture treatments, most patients’ pain, swelling and stiffness are relieved, provided the acupuncturist they visited is licensed, well-trained and experienced. Some patients have remained symptom-free for a few years, following a course of treatments. Others have experienced recurrence of pain after a few months, but the pain was relieved again after another course of treatment.
Some patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis have been able to stay almost symptom-free by receiving maintenance treatments about once a week. Acupuncture will not change bony deformities, of course, but it is remarkable how well a person can function in spite of the problems if they are free from pain and stiffness. That this all takes place without the adverse side-effect of medication is a wonderful bonus.
Drs. Steven Cooner, O.M.D., PhD., L.Ac., L.M.T., and Helene Cooner, O.M.D., L.Ac., L.M.T., are doctors of oriental medicine, state licensed acupuncturists and licensed massage therapists. wellness solutionsaz.com or 602-625-6612.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 23, Number 1, February/March 2005.