Acupuncture helps knee pain: Researchers confirm that acupuncture is more effective than two drugs (ibuprofen and diclofenac) for long-term relief of knee osteoarthritis pain, inflammation, and motor impairment. In one investigation, acupuncture plus herbal medicine outperformed acupuncture plus ibuprofen for pain relief. In another independent investigation, acupuncture outperformed diclofenac for relief of pain, inflammation, and motor impairment due to knee osteoarthritis. Let’s take a look at both investigations. Click on the link below to learn more!
A new study concludes that acupuncture reduces knee pain and increases mobility for patients with osteoarthritis. This new randomized, controlled, double-blinded study also revealed some differences in acupuncture treatments. The researchers compared non-specific (sham) needling, modern acupuncture and classical acupuncture treatments.
The results showed that sham acupuncture only achieved a patient pain reduction rate in 48% of patients while modern acupuncture achieved a 64% rate and classical acupuncture achieved a 73% rate. Sham acupuncture did not improve knee mobility but modern and classical acupuncture made significant, measurable improvements in knee mobility. The researchers concluded that there is “a specific effect of acupuncture in knee mobility.” The researchers also note, “With respect to knee motility, individualised classical acupuncture achieved twice the effect of semistandardised modern acupuncture.”
Acupuncture for Knees
The sham acupuncture bodily points were those not specifically noted for the treatment of knee pain in Chinese medicine texts. The modern acupuncture points were those suggested based on the biomedical condition of knee osteoarthritis. The acupuncture points were: ST36, ST34, EX32, SP9, SP10, SP6, GB34, LI4. The classical acupuncture points chosen were based on a customized differential diagnosis based on tissue tenderness, tongue diagnosis, pulse diagnosis, syndrome differentiation and symptoms. Needles chose for the study in all cases were 0.22 X 40mm copper needles. Ear and hand points were excluded from the study. Needle stimulation was applied and needle retention was a total of 30 minutes per treatment.
The researchers note, “This suggests a considerable specific effect of acupuncture in objective knee flexibility, an effect that appears to be method-specific as well… we observed a rapid improvement of knee flexibility immediately after classical acupuncture, which was twice the effect observed after modern acupuncture and absent after non-specific needling.”
This is not the first study showing the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of knee disorders. One recent study discovered that acupuncture is more effective than both sham acupuncture and 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.
Max Karner, Frank Brazkiewicz, Andrew Remppis, et al., “Objectifying Specific and Nonspecific Effects of Acupuncture: A Double-Blinded Randomised Trial in Osteoarthritis of the Knee,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 427265, 7 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/427265
Sau. 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, China.
Acupuncture a growing treatment for aging dogs
by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC
Posted on November 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Most of us would do anything for the family pet. But acupuncture? Yep, it’s becoming more and more popular as a way to treat animals.
Like most dogs, Henry is almost always up for a game of catch. Just a few days ago, though, his owner says he wasn’t up for much.
“It’s heartbreaking but he’s doing well, like I said, he’s 14 and he still walks a mile-and-a-half every week. But when he starts to slow down I bring him in. I jokingly call this a tune up,” said Lisa Johnson, Henry’s owner.
The tune up? Doggie acupuncture.
Dr. Kim Hombs has been doing acupuncture on pets for years and says it’s becoming more and more common. She spends a few minutes inserting strategically placed needles in the patient.
“For instance, there’s one that is two behind the ribcage called the kidney points, which doesn’t sound like it would have to do with the back but in Chinese medicine kidney meridian has to do with bone strength back strength,” Dr Hombs said.
She says the ancient Chinese medicine can be used to treat all kinds of issues, from anxiety to hip and bone problems.
“We let those needles sit for 20 minutes then we come back and take them out,” she explained.
And though it looks like it hurts, she says it really doesn’t.
Charlene Mangione actually gets acupuncture for herself and for her cocker spaniel Tigger.
“He’s like a different dog and he’s almost 13 years old,” Mangione said. “He’s an old man.”
She said the effects are almost immediate.
“When I get home today he’ll want to drag me around the neighborhood.”
Kind of like Henry.
“The goal is quality of life,” Henry’s owner said. “We want him to be as happy and healthy as long as he can.”