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Can I benefit from acupuncture for oesteoarthritis in my finger joints?

Q:  I suffer from osteoarthritis in all my finger joints making daily tasks almost impossible. I am unable to take any anti inflammatories so things get very difficult for me. would i get any benefit from accupuncture for the pain?


A:  Although the BAcC factsheets for both osteoarthritis and pain management show some very encouraging results for the use of acupuncture treatment


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the majority of the research studies tend to cover the use of acupuncture for the major joints, such as the hip or the knee. The use of acupuncture treatment for the smaller joint pains, especially the fingers, is not as well researched, and the reported clinical experience of dealing with them is often not as encouraging. Once the small bones start to deform and cause inflammation and pain it is not that easy to reduce the swelling or discomfort on a more than temporary basis.
That said, the equation, how much relief lasting for how long and at what cost, is a very fluid one. There are patients for whom the relief they get, while not permanent, is sufficient to justify the expense of treatment. Although traditional acupuncture is, to use the over-used word, holistic and looks at symptoms within the context of the whole person's balance of energies, there is often a great deal that can be done with local treatment to encourage flow and to reduce the inflammation. Equations such as this, however - extent, sustaiability and cost - are very much within the area of professional judgement which our members make all the time, and they are by our Codes to be as transparent and helpful as they can be to let you make an informed decision about whether the treatment may be worth pursuing.
Our experience is that most members are happy to give up a small amount of time without charge to discuss the advisability of treatment with prospective patients, and if they take someone on they will usually set a review target of four or five sessions to see how things have gone and to discuss whether it is worth continuing with treatment.
Our advice to you, therefore, is to seek the advice of a BAcC member local to you. We are interested in the fact that you cannot take anti-inflammatories, and wonder whether there are other aspects of your health with which acupuncture treatment may help which may, for example, help you to take medications which would be of benefit. A short face to face discussion may be able to clarify this.

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BAcC Factsheets

Research based factsheets have been prepared for over 60 conditions especially for this website

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