Acupuncture shown to help arthritis….

Acupuncture was recently shown to be the most effective therapy for osteoarthritis, low back pain and fibromyalgia by a new report into the effectiveness of complementary therapies.

Gareth Jones, from the University of Aberdeen, who was the main author of the report, said: “Approximately one quarter of the UK population uses complementary or alternative therapies in one form or another, and around one in eight will consult a practitioner in any year. Evidence also suggests that the use of complementary or alternative therapies is higher among people with pain or musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis.

“The report aims to help people with musculoskeletal conditions and healthcare professionals by providing clear, scientific evidence about the safety and effectiveness of complementary therapies.”

There is consistent evidence which suggests that acupuncture is effective in easing some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, low back pain and fibromyalgia. In addition, it’s worth noting that, as a result of the weight of evidence accumulating on acupuncture for low back pain, the current guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) now recommend acupuncture for the treatment of persistent non-specific low back pain and most recently, migraine and tension type headaches.

Twenty-five therapies were considered in the report. Each therapy was scored according to their effectiveness on a scale of one (little or no evidence that it was effective) to five (good evidence that it was effective), based on published data from clinical trials. Effectiveness was measured in terms of improvements in pain, disability or quality of life. In addition the safety of each therapy was also graded.

Copies of both reports are available from Arthritis Research UK on 0300 790 0400 or email enquiries@arthritisresearchuk.org