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Arthritis and Acupuncture

Written by Dr Kelly Brown. Posted in Family Health.

Arthritis and AcupunctureAcupuncture and Pain
The weather is getting cooler, and winter is on its way. As the cold settles in, less outdoor activities are performed. Therefore, joint stiffness can become more noticeable. Some arthritis sufferers are able to relocate during cold months, but many people have to suffer through the winter months in pain. Medications can be expensive and have side-effects that can make winter more difficult to get through.
Arthritis and Acupuncture
Acupuncture is effective at treating all kinds of pain. Joint pain that is worse in cold, damp weather can be reduced with acupuncture. Discomfort from degenerative joints can also be treated effectively. Those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often find relief in swollen, stiff joints with Chinese medicine. In addition to treating pain from various types of arthritis, side-effects of medications can be relieved with acupuncture.
Acupuncture Pain Theory
In Chinese medicine, practitioners focus on the proper movement of the energy of the body, Qi, in the channels. Any pain is considered a stagnation or improper movement of Qi. Pain associated with stagnation is generally diffuse and can move around. If the stagnation continues, blood will also not move properly. With blood stagnation, sharp, pin-point pain is experienced. Often, arthritis pain is a combination of the two, Qi and blood insufficiently moving in one or more channels. Acupuncture is effective at promoting Qi and blood circulation to decrease pain and improve well-being.
Knee Pain and Acupuncture
Knee arthritis and pain is a common complaint. Acupuncture will help to decrease discomfort in the knee by promoting proper Qi and blood flow in the joint. There are six channels that travel the leg, so acupuncture may be applied to multiple areas around the knee. Needles are generally placed in the area of discomfort as well as above and below the knee to stimulate flow along the channel or channels.
Shoulder Pain and Acupuncture
Shoulder pain can also be improved with acupuncture. There are different channels affected based on the location of discomfort. There is a point on the leg that is indicated for shoulder pain. Frozen shoulder is treated effectively with acupuncture, as is arthritis. Therefore, placement of acupuncture therapy will be modified based on specific complaints of the person. Each acupuncture treatment is individual and based on answers to specific questions asked by the practitioner.
Back Pain and Acupuncture
Additionally, all joints of the body, including the spine, can be successfully treated for pain and discomfort. The longest channel of the body runs along the back, and those points are useful for back and neck pain. Points on the legs are effective at helping areas of the back, or as mentioned above, the shoulder. Furthermore, as discussed in previous articles, digestive problems can be helped with acupuncture. Side-effects of pain medications often include constipation. An extra benefit to acupuncture treatment for pain would be to decrease side-effects of pain medications.
Studies with Acupuncture
Recent studies using MRI and acupuncture have shown that the points themselves are located in specific nerve fibers that control pain perception. The exact placement of acupuncture therapy will therefore decrease pain signals traveling to the brain. This will affect the perception of pain, decreasing discomfort. Schedule an acupuncture appointment to be on your way to feeling better, with less pain!

Dr. Kelly Brown is a chiropractor and acupuncturist with Pure Wellness. She received both a Doctorate in Chiropractic and a Masters in Acupuncture from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY. Dr. Brown is a life-long resident of DE and is glad to be back in the area serving the community. You can contact her at the office 302.365.5470 or through the website
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