Top 3 ways acupuncture can help with Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition involving pain in major joints. RA is the most common type of autoimmune arthritis and the CDC states that about 52.5 million people suffer from some sort of arthritis.
Some early symptoms of RA include more than just joint pain but could also experience fatigue, often symmetric joint pain, joint swelling or redness, and joint deformity. Often the exact cause is not known but since RA is an immune response against joint tissue, something may have sparked the initial inflammation. But genetics, lifestyle, pre-disposition, and immune system health may play a part.
People suspecting RA often will be checked for inflammatory lab markers such as CRP, ESR, and RF (Rheumatoid Factor). Also, if you have another autoimmune condition your chances of developing RA maybe higher. Patients diagnosed with RA are often prescribed NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) or medications that work to slow disease activity such as corticosteroids, like Prednisone. However, Prednisone is a steroid and has side effects in of itself and is used sparingly and is not a long-term solution.
The goals of the treatment center around controlling inflammation, preventing further joint damage, improve physical function, and control symptoms.
What are some natural and safe treatment options for people with RA?
There are so many natural things you can do to effectively control inflammation: Diet, staying active, controlling stress, and acupuncture. The first being diet. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can dramatically cut inflammation and lead to less joint inflammation, improved brain and cardiovascular health, and just overall wellness! The anti-inflammatory diet eliminates sugar, processed foods, sodas, and fried fatty foods and centers on a whole foods based diet. High quality proteins, veggies, low glycemic fruits, adequate water, and good fats.
Staying active is also beneficial at helping to promote healing and reducing RA symptoms. In fact, pain associated with RA often is worse after periods of inactivity. Exercise can also help to control stress. As we know now, stress is often the initial spark that fuels the inflammation. Therefore making daily mindset and stress reducing practices an integral part of your routine can help to keep stress and inflammation at bay. Consider activities such as yoga, mindfulness practices like meditation, and participating in group exercise activities.
Controlling pain and inflammation naturally with acupuncture!
The top 3 ways acupuncture can help RA include:
- controlling pain symptoms
- reducing inflammation
- promoting overall wellness
In a recent study, looking at how and if acupuncture can help with rheumatoid arthritis found that, “acupuncture alone or in combination with additional treatment modalities alleviates rheumatoid arthritis, restores bodily functions, and improves quality of life.” This systemic review showed that acupuncture works to control inflammation by regulating specific inflammatory markers such as ESR, CRP, and RF.
Just to point out that in this study and others, acupuncture has been found to be effective at treatment all types of pain, not just pain associated with RA. And without side effects!
That is why acupuncture is a safe, effective, and natural way to help control pain, inflammation, and promote healing.
In addition to diet, exercise, stress management, and acupuncture. Taking specific anti-inflammatory herbs is also essential to control inflammation. At our clinic, Dr. Ellie often prescribes her custom tea blend, InflaGuardRx, which has Ginger and Turmeric root, 2 powerhouse herbs for fighting inflammation.
If you suffer from RA or suspect you have RA, consider a pain consultation at our clinic for proper diagnosis and effective natural pain relief options. To schedule your consult, give our office a call at (425) 686-4498.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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