Acupuncture Found Effective For Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief
Researchers conclude that acupuncture supports the benefit of drug therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine combined acupuncture with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both drug therapy and acupuncture in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only drug therapy. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture to standard drug therapy is effective for the alleviation of relevant symptoms and the regulation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) related laboratory measures (rheumatoid factor, hypersensitive C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, platelet, fibrinogen, and D-dimer).  The study was approved and funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
A 0.30 x 25 mm or 0.30 x 40 mm disposable acupuncture needle was inserted into each acupoint, reaching standard insertion depths. Upon arrival of a deqi sensation, the ping bu ping xie (tonify and sedate) manipulation technique was applied to each needle. Next, a needle retention time of 30 minutes was observed. The treatment was conducted once per day. The patients received six days of treatment plus a one day break every week. Every 30 days of acupuncture treatment consisted of one treatment course. A total of three courses were administered.
The total effective rate in the acupuncture treatment group was 85.7% (24/28), which was greater than 75.0% (21/28) in the drug control group.
The addition of acupuncture into the drug therapy regimen of care increased the total effective rate by 10.7%. Zhu et al. conclude that acupuncture is effective for the relief of rheumatoid arthritis and improves patient outcomes.
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