Acupuncture reduces some symptoms of osteoarthritis says evidence review

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acupuncture, arthritis, osteorthritis, complementary therapySome complementary and alternative therapies may be useful for rheumatic diseases, a team reveals in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, but more research is needed.

Sixty good quality randomised controlled trials that used complementary and alternative medicine interventions in people with rheumatic diseases were analysed.

The studies did not suggest a particular complementary and alternative therapy is effective for all types for rheumatic diseases. Instead, some interventions appear to be more effective for certain types of rheumatic diseases. For example, acupuncture appears to be beneficial for osteoarthritis but not rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately evidence is still thin on the ground for many therapies the team concludes:

“Further research with larger sample size is required for more conclusive evidence regarding efficacy of complementary and alternative therapy interventions.”

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