If you have arthritis in your hands, it's difficult to do things you used to take for granted. The pain and stiffness in your hands make it difficult to grasp objects and hold onto them. There are various treatments that can help, but some of them, such as prescription medications, can have undesirable side effects. If you're looking for a natural way to treat your arthritis, you should consider acupuncture. Here's an overview of how the process works.

Acupuncture For Pain Relief 

Acupuncture is thought to work in different ways to help relieve the pain of arthritis. For one, it stimulates your body to produce endorphins. These are natural pain killers and chemicals that help you feel good. Another way acupuncture may help is by disrupting the pain signals in your hand so your brain doesn't interpret them as painful sensations. Acupuncture needles may also release pain by relaxing the muscles and fascia in your hand that are tense and contributing to your joint pain.

The Procedure

Although acupuncture involves sticking needles in your hand, it isn't a painful treatment. The needles are tiny and sharp, so you don't feel pain when they are inserted. The practitioner may vibrate the needles once they're in place, so you will feel movement on your skin. Sometimes a mild electrical current or heat is applied to the needles, and that may cause a little discomfort. Your practitioner might determine that deep needling is necessary to treat your arthritis. In that case, the needles will be inserted a little deeper than usual, and you may feel some aching when sore spots are stimulated.

When you are treated for arthritis of the hand, the practitioner may insert needles into your hand only. However, if he or she thinks you'll get better results with a whole-body treatment, then needles will be placed at various strategic points along your entire body. The needles are usually left in place for several minutes. While you may feel some relief after the first treatment, you will probably need to take a series of treatments for the best results. Since arthritis symptoms tend to come and go, you will probably want to return for treatments when your pain flares up again.

Undergoing Treatments

You can take acupuncture treatments in a variety of settings. A chiropractor's office, alternative health clinic, or even an arthritis clinic may offer acupuncture treatments. You may want to combine acupuncture with traditional medical care or other alternative health treatments so your arthritis pain is kept under control.

Acupuncture has become more common and accepted, so it's possible your insurance company will pay for the treatments. Even if you have to pay out of pocket, the treatments are usually less than $100 per session. If acupuncture works for you, the cost would be worth it for pain-free hands.