Two most common types are osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are many other types of arthritis including: ankylosing spondylitis ,cervical spondylitis, fibromyalgia, lupus, gout, psoriatic arthritis, secondary arthritis (a type of arthritis that can develop after a joint injury; it sometimes occurs many years after the injury ), polymyalgia rheumatica etc.
I spent three years (1994-1997) doing my master degree in Rheumatology. I’m experienced in treating most of types of arthritis. Acupuncture, sometimes combined with Chinese herbs provides pain relief and improves quality of life for people with arthritis. It serves as an effective complement to standard care, reducing the requirement for long-time drug treatment.
Numerous researches have supported the effectiveness of acupuncture on arthritis too:
A landmark study was funded by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Conclusion: Acupuncture provides improvement in function and pain relief as an adjunctive therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee. Annals of Internal Medicine(Dec 2004).
Acupuncture combined with cupping offer significant benefit for relieving the pain and improving the mobility of the shoulder. It is also a very effective treatment for speeding up recovery after shoulder operations and shoulder injuries. It works by improving the blood and oxygen supply to the shoulder area. For the same reason, heat therapy should be used rather than using an ice pack.
Neck and Upper Back Pain
Acupuncture does not see neck pain as being just a local problem. The patient's general health condition is also considered. For example it can be a manifestation of stress/tension. Patients often also have poor sleep pattern. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is related to hyperactive Live Yang. Therefore, it offers a more holistic way for treating neck pain.
In 2004 a study by a team of researchers at the University of Southampton revealed that acupuncture can be effective in treating chronic neck pain.
Low Back Pain and Sciatica
In May 2009 , the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued new guidelines for the treatment of chronic lower back pain. People who have persistent non-specific lower back pain for more than six weeks but less than a year may be offered the option of 12 weeks of complementary therapy on the NHS, including acupuncture sessions.
In trials of 1,162 patients with chronic lower back pain which had lasted for an average of eight years, almost half (47 per cent) of those who received acupuncture showed significant improvement – compared with barely a quarter (27 per cent) of those given conventional treatment (a combination of drugs, physical therapy and exercise). Conclusions: Low back pain improved after acupuncture treatment for at least 6 months. Effectiveness of acupuncture, either verum or sham, was almost twice that of conventional therapy . The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Regensberg in Germany in 2007.