Acupuncture is a technique where very thin needles are inserted into specific points close to the skin that correspond, in Chinese medicine, to various workings of the body. Dr. Brian Berman of the University of Maryland's School of Medicine found that acupuncture may be helpful as a complementary treatment for patients whose arthritis pain hasn't responded to other therapies.
Before you try acupuncture, The Arthritis Foundation recommends you talk to your doctor. Other tips from the foundation:
- Check out your acupuncturist's credentials. Most states don't require doctors to have any special acupuncture training. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture can provide a list of trained doctors in your area. Call 800-521-2262.
- Make sure your acupuncturist uses disposable needles to prevent infection or a virus, such as hepatitis.
- Investigate the cost. Treatments run between $40 and $100, and some insurance plans won't cover them.