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“It’s Just Arthritis”

Recently I’ve seen a few older patients who have had pain in their hips. Often they have put up with the pain for quite a while, reasoning that it is “just arthritis”. Often this seems to go along with the idea that as you get older you will inevitably get arthritis, and there is nothing much you can do about it, short of stoical endurance or a hip replacement operation. Some of these patients therefore have been somewhat surprised to find that the pain has substantially reduced, or even disappeared, after just one or two treatments. Sometimes I have been a little surprised myself, given that often I have just done a simple acupuncture treatment involving just a few needles judiciously placed in the hip area and one or two further down the leg, perhaps backed up by a little bit of cupping therapy, which seems to have virtually got rid of a pain that has been there for several years. One of these patients was indeed on the verge of having a hip replacement operation, but now finds that he may not need it.


So one of the morals of this story is, just because you are old does not mean you need to be in pain. Of course not all pain will be as easy to get rid of as in these cases, and probably these patients will need to come in every now and then to keep their pain levels low or non-existent. Also I can’t help from wondering how many people are having expensive and complicated operations for things like arthritis of the hip or knee, when in fact they could have a few relatively inexpensive acupuncture treatments instead. I know what I’ll be doing when I’m getting on a bit (more!), and my hip starts to ache (although I also know that my hip is less likely to ever ache if I get enough of the right kind of exercise!).


Written by Vimalaprabha

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