Is Acupuncture Effective In Treating Pain Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Question: Is acupuncture effective in treating pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis?

Answer: Acupuncture, which is a complimentary medicine, is certainly we use it quite a bit as an adjunct to our very traditional therapies. I think since rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and these conditions are blood inflammation are really your whole body's inflamed, they're not going to have as much of an impact as they might in a more localized pain syndrome.

So I think using them in conjunction with our traditional rheumatoid arthritis therapies, yes. Using them solely without using our traditional therapies, I would be very concerned about that. Because those are the kind of patients that may feel okay but their joints could be damaged to the points where they need a knee or hip replacement, their hands stop working, they can't grasp. So we do want to keep these patients functional, which is probably the most important thing. And to do that we really do need to target the inflammation cascade. Should also mention though that there are many other complimentary therapies that now in the US the federal government is actually doing research, looking at these different therapies -- light therapies, chiropractor, many other therapies that are really being looked at -- and there may be benefit -- we really have to wait and see with randomized clinical trials to really look for the answers of how well these medicines and alternative therapies work.

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