The Arthritis Foundation reported that one million adults in Houston experience different forms of arthritis. This debilitating sickness may cause an increased level of absences, which affects the Houston workforce. This bustling city is known for its core industries of manufacturing, aerospace, energy, and life sciences. It needs healthy employees to keep commerce alive. But with arthritis affecting a third of the workforce, there is a need for ways to manage it.
Doctors in Houston are doing their best not to prescribe medication, especially opioids, to their arthritis patients. Houston has been battling with opioid addiction, and that is the last thing they want their patients to suffer from. Research supports that acupuncture can be a safe and cost-effective way to manage arthritis. Fortunately, there are quite a few places that do acupuncture in Houston.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that causes extreme pain and stiffness. The following are two common forms of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
This kind of arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which rheumatoid factors and antibodies attack the body’s immune system. This inflammatory process affects the joints making it prone to bone erosion, tenderness, pain, and swelling.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive disorder that results in the breaking down of the cartilage. It causes “wear and tear” on the joint bones due to them rubbing together. It decreases the range of motion and causes pain and stiffness.
Common Treatment for Arthritis
Doctors commonly prescribe drugs such as NSAIDs to alleviate the pain of arthritis. But this kind of treatment often causes a slew of side effects such as allergic reactions, stomach ulcers, dizziness, and nausea. Prolonged use may even lead to kidney and liver disease or high blood pressure.
Opioids, on the other hand, are given to some patients with extreme arthritis pain. As much as possible, this becomes the last option, for it may lead to addiction or respiratory ailments.
Acupuncture as an Alternative
Acupuncture has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. This branch of traditional Chinese medicine involves inserting hair-thin needles into specific points in the body to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Doctors are now recommending acupuncture as one of the effective methods of pain management for arthritis. The 2019 American College of Rheumatology listed acupuncture in the national guidelines for the management of osteoarthritis of the hands, knee, and hips.
Acupuncture stems from the principle of qi or the internal energy flow. When it becomes stuck, pain, discomfort, or disease happens. Acupuncture can open this energy so it can flow steadily on its path, thus lessening the occurrence of pain.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Patients who experience arthritis may book an appointment at a clinic that does acupuncture in Houston if they live in the area. Clinical studies show that acupuncture can relieve arthritic pain, especially on the knees. It also releases the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals called endogenous opioid endorphins that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Surprisingly, the process of acupuncture is painless, although some people may feel a very light pinch. During a session, a practitioner will place small and sterile needs into specific points in the body. This process opens trapped energy. The healing approach is individualized for each person. Treatment will be based on a patient’s health history, lifestyle, and specific symptoms to ensure successful healing.
Houston is a city of vast opportunities for career growth. To thrive amidst the challenges of arthritis, patients can look into acupuncture as an excellent alternative for pain management.