“The use of acupuncture is associated with significant reductions in pain intensity, improvement in functional mobility and quality of life.” -via BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Full text | Pain management with acupuncture in osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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“In this systematic review, we found acupuncture administered to adults with osteoarthritis to be associated with a statistically significant reduction in pain intensity, improved functional mobility and improved health-related quality of life. Reductions in pain were greater in trials with longer intervention periods. Though under-reported and inconsistently described, major adverse events with acupuncture were not reported. Subgroup analyses suggest that acupuncture is most effective for reducing osteoarthritic pain when administered for more than four weeks. Outcome assessment for the majority of trials occurred immediately following the intervention period and thus the durability of treatment effects are unknown.” -via BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Full text | Pain management with acupuncture in osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

I see and treat all sorts of pain every day in the clinic.  Time and time again people find acupuncture and TCM to be a wonderful way to manage their pain.  Some injuries and some pains completely resolve with minimal treatment (even after sticking around for years), where others don’t ever totally go away, but patients report less pain, more function and a better quality of life when they receive on-going care.  In my experience osteoarthritis falls into this category.  Generally once we bring the pain down to manageable levels, patients do well with semi-regular care – and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see patients who had given up on their favorite activities return to them with minimal discomfort.