Are you, like more than 50 million other Americans, doing daily battle with arthritis pain? If so, it might be time to trade your pills for some pins.
Because new research blows away any lingering doubts about acupuncture’s ability to dull pain. It WORKS. And it works VERY well.
In fact, if you have arthritis, this new study was done with YOU in mind. It confirmed that this ancient therapy can deliver real and lasting relief for anyone struggling with that specific kind of agony.
And when this ancient practice meets up with a modern twist, the result is even MORE arthritis pain relief.
Acupuncture wipes out arthritis pain
The new study put traditional acupuncture to the test against an updated form called electro-acupuncture. With electro-acupuncture, a tiny jolt of juice is sent through the needles delivering some extra stimulation.
Now I know that may sound like something that came out of Frankenstein’s lab at first. Stick a bunch of needles in you, then crank up the electricity, and BZZZZZTTTT… they zap you.
But I can assure you it’s not nearly as dramatic as it sounds. In fact, most people report only a slight tingle with electro-acupuncture.
In the new study, traditional acupuncture and electro-acupuncture went head to head against a sham therapy designed to LOOK like the others. The arthritis patients were divided into three groups and received one of them three times a week for eight weeks.
The volunteers were then tracked for half a year afterward. But it didn’t take nearly that long to see the results. The folks that got EITHER form of real acupuncture were already feeling better by the end of the initial 8 weeks. And many reported continuing improvements during check-ins at weeks 16 and 26.
In the end…
- less than half of the sham patients, 47 percent, had a meaningful benefit
- real acupuncture delivered a 58 percent response rate
- electro-acupuncture topped 60 percent
A 60 percent improvement in arthritis pain is already impressive, for sure. But experts say the electro-acupuncture form has the potential to be even more effective. One of the researchers involved in the study told MedPageToday that they deliberately set the electric charge WAY low, so patients would barely feel it.
That helped eliminate any chance of volunteers who were getting the real deal catching on and producing a potential placebo effect. But it may have dampened its overall effectiveness. The researcher figured if you were to dial up the charge a bit more, the response rate would likely jump to at least 70 percent.
Target the pain with REAL relief
There are really just two downsides to either form of acupuncture:
You gotta go get it: Acupuncture requires you to make appointments and keep them. It only works to relieve arthritis pain if you’re consistent. Plus, if you’re staying home more because of the pandemic, you might want to avoid these kinds of treatments for now.
You gotta pay for it: Medicare currently only covers acupuncture for low back pain, but NOT for arthritis yet. It’s unfair since the evidence is clearly just as strong. But for now, folks on Medicare are stuck paying out of pocket.
Other insurers may cover the therapy, so check with your provider. And ask your acupuncturist about sliding scale pricing if you have to shell out the dough yourself.
If either one’s a deal-breaker for you, there are other options for tackling arthritis pain. They won’t break the bank, and you can get them from the comfort of your own home.
One of my favorites for joint pain is an all-natural remedy made from the thin film that clings to the inside of eggshells. Weird, right? But this natural eggshell membrane is surprisingly effective. Studies show it’s even more effective than the old proven standby glucosamine and chondroitin for both pain and function.
You can find eggshell membrane on its own or in combination with other natural pain-fighters such as curcumin (which you can read more about right here) for even more relief.