Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. They both cause damage in different ways but both lead to painful, swollen and stiff joints which can make life harder and affect simple, everyday activities. Acupuncture around the affected joint can help to relieve the pain caused by arthritis. I have had successful results in the clinic in treating arthritis pain, particularly in hands to benefit finger dexterity. If you suffer from arthritis, why not give acupuncture a try?
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects millions of people. It is a degenerative disease that gets worse over time due to wear and tear on a joint, reducing the amount of protective cartilage between bones and causing swelling and bony spurs to form. Severe cartilage deterioration can result in bone rubbing against bone which can lead to the joint changing shape.
Typical symptoms are joint pain and stiffness with problems moving the joint. It often affects the hands, knees, hips or spine but any moving joint could be damaged. Causes are age, injury, family history or obesity and it is more common in women than men.
Osteoarthritis cannot be cured but the pain can be managed. Regular gentle exercise will help keep joints moving, while maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce stress on joints. Over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medication can help with pain relief. Acupuncture is an effective alternative treatment for pain relief.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system targets healthy joints leading to pain, inflammation and stiffness. It mistakenly attacks the tissue forming the outer covering of the joint which causes painful swelling and eventually it can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity.
It commonly affects smaller joints first, such as in the hands and feet before moving on to larger joints and it is usually symmetrical, affecting the same joints on both sides of the body. Symptoms come and go in ‘flare ups’. Other symptoms apart from painful swollen joints may affect the body such as fatigue and fever. Causes are genetics (family history), hormones (it is more common in women than men) and smoking.
Rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured but early treatment with medication can slow the progression of the disease to prevent it getting worse. It should be diagnosed and treated by your doctor in the first instance. Over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medication can help with pain relief, but once again acupuncture can help ease the symptoms.
Acupuncture for pain management helps your body to feel better which in turn uplifts your mind and spirit bringing a greater balance to your enjoyment of life. Book a treatment with Kathy Hitchens at Balancing Acupuncture in Truro.