Evidence-Based Health Care For Optimal Health & Functioning

Electro Acupuncture Treatment and Osteoarthritis (OA)

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As you can tell from the last few blogs, the topic seems to be based on questions patients ask me. Yesterday I was TOLD by a patient that I didn’t treat pain due to osteoarthritis. She was really surprised with my answer then, “Why actually Ms. K, I DO INDEED TREAT OSTEOARTHRITIS INDUCED PAIN ūüôā “. Medical / electro acupuncture has been shown to reduce the painful side effects of OA. There are even treatment protocols/parameters for joints affected by the often painful and debilitating¬†disease. But first, what is OA?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease that is characterized by the ongoing degeneration and reduced repair of articular joint cartilage and its underlying bone. This leads to irreversible destruction resulting in joint pain, swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion. OA affects 1/8 Canadians (13%) totaling 4.4 million currently according to the Arthritis Alliance of Canada.

The factors implicated in the progression of the disease vary. They include genetic predisposition, previous trauma or surgery to the joint, obesity, exercise, metabolic and bio-mechanical changes.

The pain from OA¬†doesn’t¬†actually come¬†from¬†the cartilage degeneration, as cartilage has no intrinsic nerve innervation. The pain is a result of the anatomical structures in and around the joint. Other contributing factors of pain include joint instability,¬†inflamed synovium¬†(joint lining), muscle atrophy (deterioration), bursitis, or even enthesopothy (inflamed muscle or tendon attachments to bone).

Treatments include electro acupuncture, exercise, massage, yoga, heat and/or ice application, mineral baths, and pharmacological therapy including corticosteroid and/or anesthesia injections into the joint itself. The severity and progression of individual cases must be determined by history, x-ray, and exam by your health care practitioner to properly prescribe the most effective treatment method(s).


Posted on January 18th, 2013 [Uncategorized]
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