Some causes and effects of joint problems
Lots of people experience joint pain, otherwise known as arthralgia, through damage caused by illness, injury or infection and this can interfere with their ability to move without restriction.
Many different health conditions can lead to inflamed and painful joints, such as osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia. Joint pain and stiffness can also be one unwelcome side effect of chemotherapy treatment and cancer medication.
Knee, elbow, shoulder, hip, finger and ankle joints are most often affected, which can make it hard to carry out everyday activities like walking, going up and down stairs, opening bottles and jars, putting on shoes and socks or combing their hair.
People with ongoing joint pain and stiffness often resort to taking pain medication, which may also have unwanted side effects.
The Chinese Medicine approach
Acupuncture is an ancient, holistic complementary therapy that aims to help the body return to balance and hence to better health and wellbeing.
A key concept of acupuncture is that a person’s Qi, or vital energy flows around the body through a number of different channels. When that Qi flows freely, there is no pain and when it does not for any reason, the outcome is pain.
Following a thorough diagnostic process, treatment is tailored to each person’s needs. Ultra-fine, sterile, one-time use needles are inserted gently into specific acupuncture points along one or more of the body’s channels and left in place for 20 minutes, whilst the person relaxes.
Acupuncture may help to reduce joint pain, stiffness and inflammation, enabling the body to move more freely and supporting a recovery to better health. It works well as a stand-alone therapy, or alongside conventional medical treatments and physical therapies like osteopathy.
If you are experiencing joint pain and stiffness that interferes with your enjoyment of everyday life and are interested in seeing if acupuncture may help you, we have a regular acupuncture clinic here at Mid Sussex Osteopaths with Christine MacFie.