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Acupuncture and Arthritis

             Acupuncture may be of value to patients suffering with arthritis. One study, appearing in Arthritis and Rheumatism (2006; 54(11): 3485-3493) looked at the effect acupuncture had on osteoarthritis of the knee. There were over 3,600 subjects, about 700 were randomized—one group receiving acupuncture (15 treatments over the course of three months) the other served as a control. Over 2,900 subjects were not randomized and received acupuncture treatments. The patients were assessed at the beginning of the study, at three months and at six months.

            The patients receiving the acupuncture improved significantly when compared to the control group. They scored better on the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index when compared to the control group (17.6 vs. 0.9).

            Another study published in the British Medical Journal USA, (January/February 2005;5:24-27) also showed that acupuncture was beneficial for arthritis patients. Subjects received either acupuncture and diclofenac, or sham acupuncture and diclofenac. The group receiving the acupuncture. A greater reduction in pain was seen in the intervention group than in the control group, according to the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities index. The two groups had a mean difference of 23.9 points.