Is Acupuncture Treatment Effective For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Posted by Anabel Castilla on December 22nd, 2020

Two studies, including low to moderate quality of evidence, have been identified
and are currently providing the best evidence. The study included 84 patients
with rheumatoid arthritis. Acupuncture treatments were compared with
treatments using a placebo (sham treatment) or steroid injections. The degree of
improvement was measured after one treatment or five treatments per week.
What causes shoulder pain and what is the effect of acupuncture on it?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease in which the immune system attacks
healthy tissues in the body. Most of these attacks occur in the joints of the hands
and feet and cause redness, pain, swelling, and fever around the joints. Drug and
non-drug treatments are used to relieve pain or swelling. Acupuncture is a non-
drug therapy in which a thin needle is inserted into the body in a specific area.
Acupuncture is known to release chemicals in the body that relieve pain, stop
pain signals from nerves, or allow energy (qi) or blood to flow freely in the body. It
is not known whether acupuncture is effective or safe.
What are the findings?
In one study, participants received either acupuncture or placebo treatment for 5
weeks (once/week). The number of pain, swelling and sore joints, disease activity,
overall health, laboratory results, or the number of painkillers needed were
approximately the same regardless of whether acupuncture or sham treatment.
In another study, people experienced the flow of electric current through the
needle to a specific or real acupuncture site on the knee or to a sham site on the
knee. People who have undergone real acupuncture have found that the pain is
reduced when the knee is stationary when moving or standing. The improvement
lasted for 4 months after acupuncture. Unfortunately, the authors said that the

quality of this study was poor and that the evaluation of acupuncture effects
could have been exaggerated.
How safe is it?
No side effects were measured.
What is the point?
The quality of evidence is medium to low.
Acupuncture does not appear to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis,
according to little useful evidence.

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Anabel Castilla

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Anabel Castilla
Joined: September 23rd, 2020
Articles Posted: 8

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