Osteoarthitis is the most common form of arthritis, and it can occur and create damage at any joint in our bodies. What happens is the cartilage in our joints that separates bones from one another gradually deteriorates. In the early stages, the cartilage becomes rough, which causes pain and stiffness in joints. But if untreated, eventually the cartilage can be removed completely, causing bones to run right up against each other.
This condition occurs most commonly in our major joints, like our hands and knees, and especially our hips. Hip Osteoarthritis affects anywhere from 3 to 11% of the population in Western countries, which means millions of people suffer from this nasty degeneration. Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are a number of ways doctors generally treat the condition. Physical therapy is popular, and surgery could be performed in the worst cases, but in the meantime the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs is often prescribed to deal with the pain.
Thankfully, studies are beginning to be performed to show what acupuncturists have known for decades—that among all the treatments available for those suffering from a condition like hip osteoarthritis, acupuncture isn’t just on par or superior, but it’s by far the safest, with the fewest potential negative side effects.
Researchers in the US and China went back and looked at studies done historically on how to treat osteoarthritis and judged the combined findings. In all the studies, none of the subjects reported any adverse side effects.
As for acupuncture’s ability to heal those who are suffering, the strongest of the studies that were reviewed found “that acupuncture plus routine physician care was more effective than routine care alone at decreasing pain, improving bodily function and increasing physical quality of life.”
We know that acupuncture is effective for treating disorders such as osteoarthritis because its goal is not to simply mask pain, but treat the root causes of pain brought about by unbalance in the body. If you think you suffer from any form of osteoarthritis or are beginning to feel pain and stiffness in your joints, we’re here to help.