The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases have proven that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain and functional impairment of the knee. The report was published in the 12-04 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The report specifically states that acupuncture is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knees.
Although this report supports the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of the knee, acupuncture is not included in the Medcare/Medcaid system. This requires either an act of the US Congress or acceptance of an NCD (National Coverage Determination) through the executive branch. The research on acupuncture for the treatment of knee pain and dysfunction continues to mount. Nonetheless, there have been no reviews of acupuncture for the treatment of knee pain in the NCD process.
In the past, the preponderance of research on the efficaciousness of acupuncture came from China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Now, the USA is producing research at treatment centers and through university programs. The move towards domestic production of research materials tends to yield higher acceptance rates. Given the prevalence of knee pain, it is important that continued research into this topic is reviewed.
Other areas of extensive research included acupuncture for the treatment of internal medicine related disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and digestion disturbances. Take a look at articles in the news department to learn more.