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Acupuncture Shown to Reduce Arthritis Pain, German Study Finds

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for the pain and disability associated with arthritis, according to a study by researchers at Charite University of Medicine in Berlin.

Arthritis & Rheumatism published the study, which involved 712 patients that were divided two groups. In the first group of 357, immediate acupuncture treatment was administered while the remaining 355 began having treatment administered three months later. Using the WOMAC osteoarthritis index, which is used by many to measure the severity of pain, stiffness and joint performance in patients the researchers also applied traditional arthritis treatments consisting of anti-inflammatory drugs along with the acupuncture.

A score of about 50 was apparent on the scale by all patients at the beginning of the treatment. After 3 months, the group that had undergone 15 acupuncture sessions had a score of around 30, which was an improvement of 36 percent after other factors were considered. In the group that was untreated, scores remained around 50. After a three-month treatment, the group that was once untreated showed the same level of improvement.

While some issues that may question the results in the eyes of some skeptics were apparent during the study, such as the fact that it was not double-blind, and the inexperienced acupuncturists were found to be just as effective as experienced practitioners, the scientists still maintain the study results indicate that acupuncture is in fact an effective treatment for pain associated with arthritis.

These study results have prompted the German Ministry of Health to consider including acupuncture in medical coverage, a move partly inspired by the study results.

Frank Mangano’s commentary:

This traditional Chinese Medicine has been used for over 2,000 years and has been found to reduce pain associated with arthritis as well as improve mobility and circulation. As a matter of fact, arthritis is just one of hundreds of ailments that can be improved by using acupuncture therapy.

While drugs were a part of the study, acupuncture is an effective alternative option worth trying before resorting to conventional drug treatment.  Also, most people don’t experience any side effects from acupuncture therapy. Read more about the benefits of acupuncture here.

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