Challenging Case in Clinical Practice: Improvement in Chronic Osteoarthritis Pain with Use of Arnica Oil Massage, Therapeutic Ultrasound, and Acupuncture—A Case Report
Chronic pain affects approximately one in five Canadians and costs the health-care system approximately $62 billion each year. The average sufferer has lived with chronic pain for six years, has tried an average of 2.4 prescribed pain medications, and their risk of committing suicide is doubled compared to those living without chronic pain. Osteoarthritis (OA) in particular is accompanied with chronic pain and, unlike other causes of chronic pain, does not resolve. Surgery for pain relief is indicated in some individuals. However, for those older than 80 years of age, surgical outcomes are associated with a morbidity rate of 51% and a mortality rate of 7%.
This case report describes MK, an 82-year-old Caucasian female who presented with extreme deterioration from OA in her left shoulder. Following treatment with arnica oil massage, acupuncture, and later therapeutic ultrasound, MK experienced reduction in pain after three weekly treatments. Over the course of treatment, pain continued to decrease, and she regained some functionality. After 36 treatments, she has majorly reduced medication use and has cancelled a total arthroscopy surgery.No study to date exists using the combination of acupuncture with therapeutic ultrasound and arnica oil massage.
Michelle Jackson, ND, BMSc (Hons.), and Laura Tummon Simmons, ND, BSc (Hons.)
ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES
DOI: 10.1089/act.2018.29152.mja; MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC. ; VOL. 24 NO. 2 APRIL 2018