Arthritis is not a single condition. It is a term for many medical conditions that influence the musculoskeletal system, principally the joints. Arthritis is extremely common and is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia. Many patients’ conditions include stiffness, pain, inflammation and damage to the tissue that covers the ends of bones and surrounding structures. The acceptance is that it is a condition that affects the ageing, however, many sufferers are actually of working age and extremely healthy. The condition affects a patient’s ability to participate in valued activities, quality of life and comprises varying levels of pain and discomfort.
Arthritis is not yet curable, yet research recommends that the addition of acupuncture to the treatment schedule will result in “clinically relevant and persistent benefits“. A skilfully inserted acupuncture needle triggers a release of endorphins and enkephalins, which reduce the sensation of pain. Acupuncture also stimulates the production of cortisol, a hormone that helps to naturally control inflammation in the joints.