Osteoarthritis Patients Treated With Acupuncture Show Improvement

Arthritis News | Nov 3, 2006

Osteoarthritis (OA) has a major impact on patients' mobility and quality of life but the anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat it are associated with a number of side effects. In recent years, patients have turned increasingly to acupuncture to relieve the chronic pain associated with OA. A new study published in the November 2006 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism examined the use of acupuncture as an extension of routine medical care and whether the effects of treatment last after therapy is discontinued.

"Patients with chronic pain due to OA of the knee or the hip who were treated with acupuncture in addition to routine care showed significant improvements in symptoms and quality of life compared with patients who received routine care alone," the authors state. This was true for both the randomized and the non-randomized groups. Furthermore, patients in the control group who received acupuncture only after three months showed similar improvements at six months. In addition, WOMAC and SF-36 scores at six months were only slightly lower than at three months for those receiving acupuncture right away.

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