Osteoporosis is one of the most common conditions ailing adults in the United States. A staggering 54 million among us suffer from osteoporosis, which literally translates to “porous bone”. Osteoporosis occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. This causes the bones to become weak, resulting in chronic pain, or worse. Low bone mass means that breaks can happen very easily, from falls or in serious cases even from something as low-impact as sneezing.
Osteoporosis is a serious condition, with many of the fractures resulting from it occurring in the hip, spine or wrist. In elderly patients, these breaks can result in serious injury or death.
The unfortunate thing is that osteoporosis cannot be reversed. It can only be treated. Thankfully, clinical trials have been recently done that show acupuncture as an effective treatment for osteoporosis.
The great thing is that acupuncture works two-fold: it is effective at treating the pain associated with osteoporosis, as well as crucially improving bone mineral density. This still does not represent an ability to reverse the effects of osteoporosis, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Researchers at First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu in China conducted a study of 182 participants, all who were suffering from the disease. The study compared acupuncture’s effectiveness at treating osteoporosis with calcium supplementation. Acupuncture treatment was administered supplementing the liver and kidneys and strengthening the spleen. While both methods proved to be effective, the acupuncture group outperformed the calcium supplementation. 77 cases in the acupuncture group registered as very effective, with 5 cases effective and 9 ineffective.
The study measured both pain levels as well as mean bone mineral density—those who received acupuncture reported a decrease in pain level, and their bone density was shown to have increased.
Osteoporosis is one of the most difficult conditions to deal with, one that greatly affects the patient’s quality of life. If you or one you know is suffering from the condition, be sure to tell them that acupuncture can help them on the road to recovery.