BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Full text | Pain management with acupuncture in osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

“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.

 

 

PSU Women’s Rugby Club – now sponsored by Anatomy Acupuncture!

We are pleased to announce Anatomy Acupuncture’s fall 2014 season sponsorship of Portland State Women’s Rugby Football Club!

As a fairly new club, these ladies are working hard, and we’re thrilled to be supporting them.  Check out their schedule and stop by a game.

 

PSURFC sched

Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker – The Atlantic.

I’m loving this piece in the Atlantic about the unorthodox use of a fitness tracker to monitor recovery from surgery.  Instead of using the step counting as a goal to surpass the author uses it as a limit to see if she is doing too much for this stage in her recovery.  I think it’s important to recognize, as the author states below, that one standard measure of fitness is not necessarily appropriate for everyone, nor for one person at all times.  Injuries, illness, life circumstances – all these change the physiological responses in our bodies – so, too, our needs change.

My definition of fitness is changing over time as my body changes over time. I used to think running and doing yoga at least a couple times a week was what made me feel fit. Today, my metric is how long I lay on my stomach to stretch my mending hip. Next week, it will be how long I can pedal on a recumbent bike without resistance. In the future, it will be the physical therapy that preemptively strengthens my loose joints to support a child. And long after that, it will how much time I can spend in the vegetable garden before I get tired.

It’s not always going to be 10,000 steps a day, 30 minutes of brisk activity. I don’t have to accept Apple’s, Fitbit’s, or anyone else’s technocratic, prescriptive vision for global health. These best-fit statistics are no longer my numbers.

Fitness is dynamic. I want my fitness technology to be dynamic, too.
Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker – The Atlantic.

Recovery from injury is difficult – more often mentally than physically – I know this from personal experience as well as seeing over and over again with patients.  Many times it’s not getting through surgery that’s the hard part, it’s the recovery afterward – where we have to SLOW DOWN and change our expectations (usually not forever).  Bodies are complicated things, healing takes time, and the state of our well-being is dynamic; make sure your expectations, fitness programs and healthcare are, too.

PS – one of the things I love most about Traditional Chinese Medicine is it’s perspective that we are never the same person twice  – our body is changing all the time, we are constantly experiencing and adapting –  so our treatments shouldn’t be cookie-cutter – we should assess and treat what is happening in the body now.

Doctor’s Orders: For Better Health, Put Your Hands in the Dirt | TakePart

I love this!  Prescriptions not only for eating fruits and vegetables instead of taking pills, but actually to get out and garden, grow your own food.

Instead of scribbling out a drug dosage, some doctors are asking patients to incorporate good habits of self-care (like more movement and leafy greens) into their routine, not just as rote advice but as a medical directive—often before their health goes haywire. Doctor’s orders.

-via Doctor’s Orders: For Better Health, Put Your Hands in the Dirt | TakePart.

And not only does  gardening provide moderate activity and let you be intimately involved with your own food produce, but research has also show that getting your hands in the dirt can make you happier (really! UK researchers found a friendly bacteria that is common in soil produces similar effects in the brain as antidepressants).   So what are you waiting for!  Get out and garden!