Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture for Knee Osteoarthritis - It Works

A recent study concludes that acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture and conventional biomedicine for the treatment of knee pain. A meta-analysis of 14 random controlled clinical trials involving 3,835 patients states, “Acupuncture provided significantly better relief from knee osteoarthritis pain and a larger improvement in function than sham acupuncture, standard care treatment, or waiting for further treatment.” The study notes that acupuncture for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis is “better at relieving pain and restoring function” than both standard biomedical care and sham acupuncture.

Public interest in acupuncture for the treatment of knee pain and dysfunction started with NIH (National Institutes of Health) research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, stating that acupuncture is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knees. In related research, a new study concludes that, “All the studies using non-placebo controls showed statistically significant improvement in knee pain and function for the acupuncture group.” In yet another recent study, electroacupuncture at acupoints including ST35 (Dubi), Xiyan, SP10 (Xuehai), ST36 (Zusanli), and GB34 (Yanglingquan) was found effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis due to kidney deficiency.

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Saudi Med J. 2012 May;33(5):526-32. Needle acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Cao L, Zhang XL, Gao YS, Jiang Y. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.

The effect of acupuncture (vs. different types of controls) on knee pain—a literature review. Can evidence-based medicine help us to understand the mechanism of acupuncture better? S. Parekh., University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, UK. QJM (2012). Oxford Journals. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcs021.

Berman BM, Lao L, Langenberg P, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004;141(12):901–910.

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 May;32(5):395-8. Comparison of the clinical therapeutic effects between electroacupuncture and warming needle moxibustion for knee osteoarthritis of kidney deficiency and marrow insufficiency pattern/syndrome. Gao J, Ouyang BS, Zhang Y, Li J, Yang HZ, Ji LL, Wu YJ, Wang W. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Suzhou Hospital of TCM, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.