Acupuncture Outperforms Drug Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis
While not surpising to those of us who treat autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis on a daily basis, it is refreshing to see research backing up our therapeutic strategies. A study compared acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy to conventional immunomodulating drug therapies and found that Chinese medicine worked better for patients than the Western medical options.
Researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with a special herbal formula produces positive patient outcomes for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. In a surprise finding, the acupuncture combined with herbal medicine group outperformed the drug control group. Members of the drug group received a combination of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) combined with a powerful anti-rheumatic drug, methotrexate. The acupuncture combined with herbal medicine group had an overall effective rate of 95.08% and the drug group had an effective rate of 68.85%. Acupuncture applied to the back reduces pain according to a new study. In addition, the adverse side effects associated with the drug group was significant at 18.0% whereas the acupuncture combined with herbal medicine group had a 3.2% adverse effect rate. The researchers concluded that acupuncture with herbs is safer and more effective than NSAIDs combined with methotrexate.