Joint Pain, Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
Pain is the primary complaint of arthritis sufferers, and acupuncture is a very effective form of pain control. It relieves pain in three ways. First, it causes the body to produce chemicals called endorphins, which inhibit the perception of pain. Endorphins are similar to morphine. The big difference is that endorphins are produced naturally by the patient’s own body. Hence, there are no side effects. Second, acupuncture works through the nervous system by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Third, it deactivates trigger points. Trigger points are tender and extremely reactive areas that develop in the muscles and fascial sheaths of the body. They are often responsible for chronic pain and are frequently found around arthritic joints. Acupuncture also has a very relaxing effect on the mind and body. Since much illness is the result of stress, this relaxation helps to promote the healing process.
Acupuncture is most successful at relieving pain, but it can also have a positive effect on other symptoms that appear in the three primary forms of arthritis.
The first form, rheumatoid arthritis, is characterized by inflammation (swelling, heat, redness and pain) in and around joints. The degree of inflammation fluctuates, possibly following changes in the stress levels of the body. Acupuncture stimulates the adrenals to produce natural steroids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Since they are produced by the body, they do not cause side effects. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by periods of exacerbation and remission, but pain often persists once the inflammation has subsided. Acupuncture is very effective at relieving this pain by inactivating trigger points around the joints.
The second and most common form is osteoarthritis. It involves the gradual wearing away of cartilage in joints along with the deposition of calcium, which limits mobility of the joint. Acupuncture stimulates the parathyroid glands to produce the hormone that draws calcium out of bones, only in this case, the hormone works on the arthritic deposits. Research in China has shown that bony spurs on the vertebrae of the neck have disappeared after several courses of acupuncture treatment. More research needs to be done. When the joint reaches a certain level of deterioration, acupuncture will not restore it to a normal state. It is, however, extremely effective at controlling the pain that often accompanies this deterioration.
The third form is gouty arthritis, which is characterized by deposits of oxalic acid that make movement of the joint extremely painful. Here, pain relief is the main action of acupuncture. Gouty arthritis tends to come and go with changes in stress levels and diet.
Manhattan Wellness Group have put together a group of highly trained and professional individuals who can work alone in their specific scope. However, these professionals are best utilized in our integrative model of care, which joins all their unique skills together to provide better care and faster relief. This model of care is comprised of a holistic Chiropractic approach that utilizes advanced physiotherapy modalities, therapeutic exercises, nutrition, traction decompression and joint manipulative techniques. We use Chinese herbs and Acupuncture to address such issues as nerve problems and arthritic pain. We selectively picks medical massage therapists that are highly skilled and trained to work closely with the doctors and acupuncturist to enhance therapeutic approaches and to support the overall treatment plan. All services are provided at both the Brooklyn Heights and Midtown Manhattan locations.