How acupuncture helped restore function to a patient with disabling polyarthritis

Dr Carolyn Ee discusses a good result with a tricky pain case

Donald was a mystery to his specialists.

A previously well man in his 70s,  he had developed sudden-onset polyarthritis and synovitis after major surgery. The pain was quite disabling.

The exact cause was unknown. Donald’s usual GP referred him to me for a trial of acupuncture, given that the disease-modifying agents that his rheumatologist had prescribed did not provide relief and had caused troublesome side effects. 

By the time he saw me, Donald had