How acupuncture helps arthritis
It is thought that acupuncture reduces pain by altering the way it is processed by the brain and spinal cord. Certain acupuncture points have been shown to deactivate parts of the brain that deal with the perception of pain. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of endorphins and natural opioids, which have pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
Acupuncture reduces local inflammation and swelling by increasing microcirculation and promoting the release of vascular and immune enhancing factors. It relaxes tight muscles and trigger points which contribute to pain in the surrounding muscle tissue.
Diet and lifestyle
A well-balanced diet is vital when you have arthritis. Not only will you ensure your body has a good supply of essential nutrients, but it will be easier to maintain a healthy body weight. Many people find that losing a few pounds improves pain management by reducing the stress placed on weight bearing joints.
Be sure to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and keep sugary and processed foods to a minimum. Omega 3 oils have been shown to give some relief from the symptoms of arthritis. This can be take either in the form of a good quality fish oil supplement or by eating two portions of oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna a week.