Your hips are stiff and painful, or your knees hurt to the point that you have trouble climbing the stairs. Or your shoulder hurts and you might have to give up golf or tennis. Indeed, arthritis can affect almost any joint. Acupuncture can help, without the side-effects of pain medication. It relieves pain in three ways.

  • Acupuncture increases the production of endorphins and enkephalins, which inhibit the perception of pain. Since these hormones are produced by the body itself, there are no side effects.
  • Acupuncture works through the nervous system by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Studies using MRIs have also shown an increase in the activity of pain-killing receptors in the brain.
  • Acupuncture deactivates trigger points. Trigger points are tender and extremely reactive areas that develop in the muscles and fascial sheaths of the body. They are often responsible for chronic pain and are frequently found around arthritic joints.

When the joint reaches a certain level of deterioration, acupuncture will not restore it to a normal state. It is, however, extremely effective at controlling the pain that often accompanies this deterioration.

How Many Treatments Are Necessary?

Each person is unique. Some people will respond to acupuncture more quickly than others. Most patients should experience some symptomatic relief after couple of treatments. Weekly treatment for a couple of months can bring long-term benefit, often for several months, as I have observed with my patients. I have also observed that when the pain cycle is broken, some patients have had what appears to be a permanent reduction in pain.

 I would like to share with you several testimonials of patients with arthritis I have treated who received significant help.

 The original longer article is here.

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© 1999-2015 Steve Phillips, L.Ac. New clinic location:  2626 La Mesa Way, Sacramento, CA 95825