Acupuncture – An Adjunct Therapy for RA

Vinson DiSanto has a unique health care background. Trained in osteopathy and environmental medicine, Vinson DiSanto, D.O., also holds a doctor of acupuncture degree.

Integrative medicine (IM), or the combination of traditional Western practices with holistic therapies, often is useful in treating conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA, caused by an immune system dysfunction, is a chronic disease that affects the joints and produces such symptoms as limited movement, swelling, stiffness, and pain.

RA generally impacts the joints of the hands and feet, although inflammation can extend to internal organs such as the lungs. Other areas that may be affected include the shoulders, ankles, knees, and hips. Morning stiffness is the major symptom of the disease.

When combined with traditional approaches, acupuncture has proven effective in helping patients afflicted with RA. This treatment involves the stimulation of certain acupoints by the use of fine needles. When the needles are placed, the nerves at these points are stimulated, sending a signal to the brain that activates the production of pain-killing endorphins. When RA patients are treated with acupuncture, many find that their level of pain is reduced.

Because acupuncture is primarily used to treat pain, the therapy is also helpful to patients who experience chronic back pain, headache pain, or osteoarthritis (OA).

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