Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic self-immune inflammatory disease which principally affects the synovial joints.The illness causes inflammation in the capsule around the joints which leads to swelling of the synovial cells ,excess of the synovial fluid ,and development of fibrous tissue.This leads to joint and bone damage which provokes pain,loss of mobility and different stages of disability.The disease mainly affects the small joints of the hands ,feet and cervical spine but larger joints can also be involved(knee,shoulder).The joints become painful,swollen and stiff.
There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis.Different treatments can only improve the symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.The therapeutic methods could be summarized as follows
-disease modifying antirheumatic drugs(methotrexate)
-surgical therapy(arthroscopic or open synovectomy)
The use of acupuncture in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Until now ,many studies have tried to approach and understand how acupuncture could be beneficial for these patients.The results of these studies are ambiguous.Some of them have shown that acupuncture is an absolutely appropriate therapy for RA and others that there is no evidence for that.However the most of them agree that the patients who were treated with acupuncture ,had a certain relief from the symptoms of the disease ,the physical function and the joint motion were increased and the quality of life was improved.