Consider acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis to relieve pain and improve movement. Acupuncture is moving out of the “alternative treatment” for many orthopedic conditions such as knee osteoarthritis and back pain and into the mainstream. Needling provides another option for treating knee osteoarthritis besides taking prescription anti-inflammatory medication and conventional physical therapy. In fact, acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis has significant research showing that it can provide pain relief and improve function. If you’re looking for a management solution for your knee osteoarthritis, I’ll answer some of your common questions such as:
- Is there research to support acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis?
- Does acupuncture hurt when treating knee osteoarthritis?
- What is the long-term outlook for my knee osteoarthritis and what are my alternatives?
Is there research to support acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis?
As healthcare practitioners, we can never guarantee a treatment is going to be effective. Not only is it illegal to guarantee a patient, but it’s unreasonable to do so since your condition is unique. That’s why we rely on scientific studies and best-care recommendations to determine if a treatment is likely to be successful. The good news is that acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis has a lot of favorable evidence to support it may help you.
A review of studies that looked at acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis collected data on 1,456 patients and found the following important result:
- In 8 out of 10 studies, those who had acupuncture had significant relief of knee osteoarthritis in comparison to a control group.
- In 9 out of 10 studies, acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis provided a significant improvement in the function of the knee.
These are huge conclusions that support using acupuncture to treat your knee osteoarthritis! A lot of medications to treat your knee osteoarthritis don’t even have that good of results. What you can take away from this review is that acupuncture for your knee osteoarthritis is very likely to provide pain relief and improved function.
Want to read a synopsis of this study? Follow this link to read the research I’m referencing –> Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis of the knee
Does acupuncture hurt when treating knee osteoarthritis?
Pain is subjective, but I find that acupuncture is not extremely painful to my patients when we’re treating knee osteoarthritis. I typically use around 10-15 needles when addressing knee osteoarthritis. In comparison to dry needling, the needles are often less deep and there’s less needle manipulation. If you’re afraid of needles, know that acupuncture needles are much smaller than needles used to draw blood. Acupuncture needles are also hollow, so they don’t cause quite as much tissue damage. Typically, patients find that after the first few needles they know what to expect and it’s not painful or even stressful.
If you’re curious about dry needling for knee pain, see this content that I wrote on the subject of dry needling –> Dry needling for knee pain
If you want even more details, I discuss dry needling for knee pain even more in this content –> Dry needling for knee pain explained
What is the long-term outlook for my knee osteoarthritis and what are my alternatives?
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. The simple fact is that knee osteoarthritis is not going to change in structure. It’s degenerative, and it’s not going to reverse. The joint damage that’s already there is going to stay there.
Now the good news. THIS DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU’RE DOOMED TO BE IN PAIN THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Don’t regret what you’ve done or haven’t done in the past to take care of your knees. Many people who have knee osteoarthritis don’t have any pain. Others had pain and functional limitations and found a treatment that works for them. It may be acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis or it may be something else.
Alternatives to acupuncture for treating knee osteoarthritis include prescription or OTC anti-inflammatory medications, knee replacement surgery, chiropractic care and rehab, or physical therapy. Know that if you’re struggling with knee osteoarthritis, acupuncture provides an effective and minimally invasive treatment.
Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.
If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.