Acupuncture for symptom management of rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria were given 14 sessions of individualised acupuncture treatment for 6 weeks. Improvement in symptoms was assessed using ACR 20, 50 and 70; disease activity score (DAS28); tender joint count; swollen joint count; morning stiffness and health-related quality of life at baseline and after 6 weeks. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) was also assessed. At 6 weeks, 44%, 20%, and 12% of patients achieved ACR 20, 50 and 70 responses, respectively. Acupuncture also produced statistically significant improvements in disease activity score, pain and global activity, swollen joint count, health-related quality of life (SF-36) and ESR. No major acupuncture-related adverse events were reported. Acupuncture treatment as used in this pilot study was safe and well-tolerated.
Source: Lee H, et al. Acupuncture for symptom management of rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study. Clinical Rheumatology 2008;27:641-645.