Acupuncture for AI-Associated Joint Pain Relief


Acupuncture is often used by people seeking an alternative to traditional pain management. This makes sense especially when the pain is a side effect of conventional medication for another condition, such as cancer. For example, aromatase inhibitors (AIs), which are commonly prescribed to postmenopausal women suffering from early-stage hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, are associated with joint pain. While pharmaceuticals, physical therapy and exercise can provide some relief, the joint pain often returns. Fortunately, a 2017 study found acupuncture can be an effective alternative for women treated with aromatase inhibitors (AIs). If you experience joint pain while taking AIs for breast cancer, acupuncture may help you. Gainesville Holistic Healthcare provides acupuncture in Gainesville, FL, to lessen acute and chronic pain stemming from a variety of health issues. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How Aromatase Inhibitors Work

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer uses estrogen to grow and sustain itself. An AI works to prevent the cancer from recurring after surgery by suppressing estrogen production. Unfortunately, joint stiffness and pain are the most common side effects of AIs. Some of the women in the study even stopped taking the prescribed AIs to ease the pain they experienced. When successful, acupuncture used to treat AI-associated pain may allow breast cancer patients to fully follow their treatment without chronic joint pain.

Benefits of Gainesville Acupuncture

The 2017 study was the biggest of its kind to date. More than 200 women were randomly assigned to three groups: true acupuncture, placebo, and no treatment. The true acupuncture provided to the first group focused on the most painful joints. Treatment occurred twice a week for the first six weeks and then once a week for another six weeks. All participants were followed for a total of 24 weeks. The conductors of the study saw a mean two-point reduction in the worst pain reported by the true-acupuncture group (compared with worst pain before treatment). Patients in the other two groups reported a roughly one-point mean reduction.

The goal of acupuncture in Gainesville, FL is to allow uninhibited flow of qi — pronounced “chee”  — throughout the body. According to Chinese medicine, pain results when this vital force is blocked or imbalanced. Acupuncture allows natural, pain-fighting endorphins to be released by inserting thin needles into specific points throughout the body.

Acupuncturists in Gainesville, FL

Acute and chronic pain doesn’t have to be an ongoing side effect during your breast cancer treatment. Gainesville Holistic Healthcare provides a variety of services, including acupuncture Gainesville residents experiencing AI-associated joint pain can try as an alternative form of relief. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Leave a comment