Effects of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis

Lao WN et al. Effects of acupuncture on rheumatoid arthritis. International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
Conference: 14th Congress of Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology, APLAR 2010 Hong Kong Hong Kong. Conference Publication 2010; 13: 231.

An uncontrolled pilot study that explored the effects of acupuncture on disease activity, pain scores, functional ability and quality of life in 8 patients with RA (6 were positive for rheumatoid factor). No change in disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) was allowed 3 months before the study. Tender joint count improved by 33.3% to 100% in six patients. The visual analogue scale for pain score improved by 12.5% to 87.5% in four patients. Rheumatoid arthritis disease activity score using 28-joint counts dropped by 3.4% to 29.1% in 6 patients. Health assessment questionnaire score remained unchanged in five patients and improved by 37% to 60% in two patients. Physical well- being improved by 28.6% to 71.4% and social well-being improved by 4.4% to 75% in half of the patients, emotional well-being improved by 25% to 57.2% in three patients, functional well-being improved by 16.7% to 35.3% in two patients, fatigue sub-scale improved by 10% to 56.5% in three patients. No patients required adjustment of DMARDs, anti-inflammatory drugs or steroid during the therapy. The researchers concluded that their observations suggest acupuncture may be helpful in alleviating pain, improving disease activity, quality of life and functional ability in some patients with rheumatoid arthritis