Studies show that acupuncture can stimulate the production of hormones that reduce pain and inflammation.
In a German study, 3,500 people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee received 15 sessions of acupuncture combined with their usual medical care. The results showed that the patients that had acupuncture had less pain and stiffness, improved function and better quality of life than their counterparts who had routine care alone. The improvements occurred immediately after completing a three-month course of acupuncture and lasted for at least another three months, indicating osteoarthritis is among conditions treated with acupuncture.
Another study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of acupuncture among 40 adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Among the patients in the study, those who had a daily acupuncture session for 10 consecutive days reported greater improvement in their pain compared with patients who received a “sham” version of the therapy.
Pain Online, December 15, 2009.
Arthritis & Rheumatism, November 2006; vol 54: pp 3485-349