A team of researchers from the University of Porto and the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the University of Rome II in Italy found that acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand. Their findings were published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
For the study, the research team assessed the safety and efficacy of acupuncture treatments for rheumatoid arthritis of the hand.
To do this, they recruited 105 individuals with rheumatoid arthritis of the hand who were randomly assigned to three groups: a traditional acupuncture group, a sham acupuncture group, and a waiting list group.
The traditional acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups received the same number, depth, and stimulation of needles.
The researchers assessed the participants' condition before and five minutes after acupuncture and conducted follow-ups over a four-week period.
The participants who received traditional acupuncture reported significant improvements in pain and pressure algometry.
Their hand grip strength and arm strength, as well as health status and quality of life also improved significantly.
The number of swollen and tender joints also significantly decreased.
On the other hand, the sham acupuncture group did not show any significant changes, except in self-reported pain.
The waiting list group experienced an overall worsening of their condition.
These results suggest that traditional acupuncture is beneficial to people with rheumatoid arthritis of the hand.
Seca S, Patrício M, Kirch S, Franconi G, Cabrita AS, Greten HJ. EFFECTIVENESS OF ACUPUNCTURE ON PAIN, FUNCTIONAL DISABILITY, AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS OF THE HAND: RESULTS OF A DOUBLE-BLIND RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIAL. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 18 January 2018;25(1):86-97. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2018.0297