Acupuncture has long been considered an alternative treatment option for arthritis. The benefits of acupuncture have been studied and debated. But there's a newer version of acupuncture, known as electro-acupuncture, that's getting more attention lately. A small study involving 40 adults with knee osteoarthritis was published in the December 15, 2009 online journal Pain. Similar to traditional acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into specific points on the skin. With electro-acupuncture however, those small needles are hooked to clips that attach to a device that delivers an electrical impulse to stimulate the acupuncture point.
In the aforementioned study, patients who received daily electo-acupuncture treatments for 10 consecutive days reported greater pain relief than patients in the group receiving a sham version of the treatment. Researchers concluded that electro-acupuncture may provide short-term relief for knee osteoarthritis patients. To determine lasting effects, longer studies would be needed. Patients who are interested should talk to their doctor about adding electro-acupuncture to their existing treatment regimen.
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