Novel Laser Acupuncture Tele-therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis Eldely
BY: Benny Chung
Jun 01, 2015

Acupuncture has been commonly used in treating rheumatoid arthritis upon the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation. The treatment is mainly delivered in-person by a therapist. Under the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional acupuncture practice has to come up with a new approach - laser acupuncture tele-therapy to accommodate the changes and challenges. Therapists can use laser acupoints stimulation with a smart laser device to deliver acupuncture to the patients remotely. A study investigated sixty rheumatoid arthritis patients aged from 65 to 75; they were randomly assigned to two groups: Group A received laser acupuncture tele-therapy with methotrexate whereas Group B received methotrexate only. Apart from the treatment, both groups equally received a tele-rehabilitation program in form of aerobic exercise. The primary outcome measures included inflammatory markers: IL-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP); oxidative marker: malondialdehyde (MDA); and antioxidant marker: adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP). While quality of life and functionality were also measured as secondary outcomes. The between-group difference was significant after three months. Group A with laser acupuncture tele-therapy displayed an encouraging outcome with reduced inflammation and oxidative stress and improvement in the quality of life and functionality, while the improvement in group B was insignificant. This study showed that laser acupuncture tele-therapy is an effective, convenient, and safe therapeutic alternative for the patients with rheumatoid arthritis.



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