Acupuncturist Questions Arthritis

How is arthritis treated with acupuncture?

I have severe arthritis and am tired of taking medication. I want to try something different. Can acupuncture help to treat my arthritis?

31 Answers

Acupuncture is extremely effective in reducing inflammation, in turn reducing pain from arthritis. Definitely worth getting some acupuncture for arthritis.
Acupuncture, in short, would try to reduce inflammation and boost your system to fight the pain. The nerve endings the needles manipulate tell your brain to not feel the pain as bad.
It all depends on your situation. If you have many painful places and had been taking medicine for a long time (longer than 3 months), herbs may be needed to combine with acupuncture. If you just have one or two joints involved, treatment will be much easier.
Hope this helps.
Everything is treated with needles in acupuncture, so we would poke you in certain spots -- that is how it would be treated. Arthritis responds very well to acupuncture in my experience. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed to work 100% of the time, but I have found this medicine to work very well. Don't give up if you try someone in my field and they don't help... we aren't all created equally. Make sure you start with a fully trained acupuncturist (not an MD or chiropractor that did minimal hours of training to get a license).

Yes, acupuncture and moxa can help arthritis. Both support the Qi (life energy) to move in the body and it reduces the pain and increases the mobility of joints.

Hope you can get benefit soon.

Jonathan Fang
Generally speaking, acupuncture can hep for arthritis. Please consult with a licensed acupuncturist near you for your condition.
Yes, I have had much success in treating people with arthritis, and acupuncture is a good way to alleviate the pain associated with that condition.
Yes. Acupuncture can help in treating arthritis.

Dr. Hui (Grace) Gao LAc., TCMD
We use combination of acupuncture, micro-current therapy, low level lasers and electro-magnetic therapy to treat arthritis.
Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and may be a useful way to treat arthritis.
Although not a panacea, acupuncture can treat many issues that fall through the cracks of Western Medicine, often making a painful situation into a manageable one. Consult with an acupuncturist to find out the underlying syndrome, try it and see if it works for you.
Hi. It will not be easy but with moderate change in lifestyle (your dr will guide you) the s/sx will be markedly reduced.
There are many research studies done for this subject already. Please search NIH website. Acupuncture does the same a drug does for arthritis, that is to reduce inflammation and increase the mobility of joints.

Thank you,
Acupuncture increases blood and energy movement through the joints. Arthritic joints are not receiving the nourishment they need to stay lubricated and strong, so the bones begin to become brittle and tiny pieces can break off and irritate the joint. Increased circulation is key to improving the pain and decreasing the resultant inflammation from degrading joints. Acupuncturists also have medicated liniments applied topically that can help as well.
Arthritis is inflammation in the joint. One of the best ways to treat it is with Acupuncture. Acupuncture is helping to reduce the inflammation in the body and reduce the pain.
Arthritis is one of the well-treated diseases, but general doctors do not know the cause. However, knowing that the organs that manages it is the pancreas and small intestine, it is well cured and prevented. The pancreas controls the water and the small intestine releases heat, but if the two do not communicate, arthritis develops.
Localized acupuncture points ease the arthritis pain. Does not cure it. You will take less or no pain medication with treatments. Thanks.
It can help with arthritis in many cases - find a licensed practitioner in your area for more information.
Yes, acupuncture can help arthritis by decreasing inflammation and increasing circulation.


Dr. Pai Hsiang Peng, L.Ac.
Acupuncture can certainly help with the pain of arthritis, but I would also like to make a suggestion that could address the cause of the arthritis and not just the resulting pain.

Arthritis, like most of the common diseases in our society, is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation in different areas and organs of the body. One of the most common causes of the autoimmune response is our exposure to the genetically engineered foods we eat, and the most common of these foods is gluten because it is in so many foods. So, whenever I treat patients for arthritis, I also encourage them to eliminate gluten (and all the grains that have similar proteins) from their diets. The tricky part is watching for it in boxed and canned foods. It also is worth noting that it takes less than a gram of gluten to create the autoimmune response in the body, that thi response can last up to a month, and the effects of it can last up to a year. So, it's important that you are diligent and don't let it sneak into your diet.

I hope this helps!
Good afternoon,

Acupuncture is a modality that focuses not only the symptoms of OA or RA, but as well as the entire body. Since arthritis may be influenced by many causative factors, careful diagnosis and assessments must be considered. Treatment plan such as harmonization of the mind, body, and the spirit to balance and to promote blood circulation preventing inflammation at the affected areas is one of the many techniques. Remember, everyone is responding to acupuncture uniquely. So, call your local acupuncturist for more information.

Good luck,

Danny Khounh, LOM

Acupuncture treats arthritis the same way that it treats any other ailment, through the lens of Chinese medicine pattern disharmony. With the treatment of arthritis, the differential between wind-cold-damp Bi syndrome or wind-heat Bi syndrome would be made much the same way as western physicians would differentiate between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Then, treatment depends on the diagnosis.

In the case of osteoarthritis, acupuncture and herbal medicine are employed that move the qi and reduce inflammation and dampness within the body. Diet and lifestyle recommendations are also made to help curb its intensity or stop its progression. Often times, giving up foods that create damones in the body like sugar, fried foods, and excessively cold foods help.

In the case of rheumatoid, acupuncture and herbal medicine are employed that move the qi, reduce inflammation, and clear damp heat within the body. The role of the immune system and any bi-inflammatory triggers are also sought out and treated. Diet and lifestyle recommendations are also made to help curb its intensity or stop its progression. Often times, giving up spicy foods and getting a good intolerance test to determine if there are foods you are intolerant to that are creating inflammation can be very beneficial.

I recommend committing to a treatment plan of 6 sessions and quantifying your pain throughout treatment in order to decide if it’s a valuable treatment that you wish to pursue and then going about trying to wean off of your meds with the help of your acupuncturist and physician.

Good luck!
Yes. Studies have shown that acupuncture is actually better at treating pain than most pain medications and this is because we don't just treat the symptom of pain, we treat the cause. In Chinese Medicine, arthritis actually has 4 different possible diagnoses. Western medicine only has one: inflammation. The acupuncture will treat why the inflammation is occurring, not just the pain you feel from it.
Many of my arthritis patients have seen increased range of motion and reduction of pain with acupuncture. Even very advanced patients I’ve seen have had the progression discontinue and ease swelling, as well as reduce additional symptoms. Some patients even experience results within the first treatment! All the best to you in healing your arthritis!

Arecola cherries are supposed to be very good to assist, as well as cutting down refined sugars, which cause inflammation.
Acupuncture is very helpful for arthritis. Both RA and OA. The most important part about using acupuncture to treat arthritis is consistency with appointments. I encourage my arthritis patients to see me at least 2x a month in low inflammatory states, and 1x week if they are in an inflamed state. 50% of patients who received acupuncture for arthritis stated that they saw improvement. Why does it work? Acupuncture encourages blood flow and removes stagnation. This increases inflammatory factors, oxygen, fresh blood and encourages the production of stem cells by our own bodies.
Yes, that is one of the best choices!
Yes, Acupuncture can help relieve the pain from arthritis.
Acupuncture’s approach to the treatment of arthritis is based on the the cause of the arthritis. Once that is developed, a treatment plan is created. The goal is to create better circulation to the joints, so they become better functioning or do not get worse. 
Yes. Arthritis is a form of chronic inflammation and Chinese Medicine has a variety of tools that can help address that - acupuncture, herbs, and some dietary and life coaching. That being said, depending on your condition, you may need to continue your western meds, only at a lower dose. It will depend your particular assessment. Regardless, any reduction in western medication must be discussed with your M.D. It is not within our scope of practice to advise or suggest it.
Yes, acupuncture can definitely help with arthritis pain. Make sure your MD is aware you're trying acupuncture. Depending on your current medications, you may need to taper down slowly, and your doctor will help you do that safely. Also, for the best results, make sure you're seeing an NCCAOM board certified and state licensed acupuncturist.
Yes! In fact, Chinese medicine has such a thorough understanding of arthritis, that joint pain falls under a special category called "Bi Syndrome." Acupuncture along with Chinese herbal formula has helped improve many types of joint dysfunction for centuries.