Chronic knee pain is a common condition that affects people of all ages, especially the elderly. It can be caused by various factors such as injuries, overuse, and degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. The pain can be debilitating, causing difficulty in performing daily activities and reducing the quality of life. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has gained popularity in recent years as an alternative therapy for chronic pain. Several studies have investigated the effectiveness of acupuncture on knee pain, with promising results.
A systematic review of five randomized controlled trials involving 1334 patients with chronic knee pain or knee osteoarthritis compared the effects of acupuncture with sham acupuncture or no intervention. The results showed that acupuncture was significantly superior to sham acupuncture and no additional intervention in improving pain and function in patients with chronic knee pain. The differences were still significant at long-term follow-up, indicating that acupuncture can provide lasting relief.
Furthermore, individual studies have shown that acupuncture can provide short-term and long-term pain relief and improve physical function in patients with knee pain. For example, one study showed that acupuncture groups exhibited superior pain improvement and physical function in the short term (up to 13 weeks). Another study demonstrated that acupuncture was associated with significantly reduced chronic knee pain at 12 weeks.
Additionally, research has indicated that the dose of acupuncture may be associated with treatment outcomes in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Higher dosages of acupuncture were related to better relief of pain and dysfunction, highlighting the importance of tailoring treatment to individual patient needs.
Acupuncture activates the body's natural healing mechanisms. Acupuncture is believed to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers, and stimulate blood flow to the affected area, promoting healing.
Acupuncture is a safe and minimally invasive therapy that can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. It is especially beneficial for patients who cannot tolerate or do not want to take medications.
In conclusion, acupuncture is a viable and effective therapy for chronic knee pain. It can provide significant pain relief and improve physical function, even in the long term. Acupuncture may be particularly beneficial for patients with knee osteoarthritis, and the dose of acupuncture may influence treatment outcomes. Patients with chronic knee pain should consider acupuncture as a safe and minimally invasive alternative to traditional treatments.
Jaung-Geng Lin et al Am J Transl Res. 2022; 14(3): 1469–1481.
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Zhang Q et al Acupunct Med. 2017;35:392–403.
Lin X et al, J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016;98:1578–1585.
Sun N et al,Acupunct Med. 2019;37:261–267.
A leading acupuncture specialist for pain relief, vulvodynia, fertility and miscarriage, facial rejuvenation, stress and anxiety. This blog introduces acupuncture research update to help you understand acupuncture.
Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju
Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.
Monday, 8 May 2023
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