When your knee aches, day after day, you can’t walk easily. Climbing up and down stairs is a challenge. Pain wakes you up at night. It’s always on your mind.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common causes of chronic knee pain. It causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness, making it hard to flex and extend your knee.
Across the country, doctors are striving to avoid prescribing medication, particularly opioids, for chronic pain. Research shows acupuncture to be a cost-effective way to treat pain with very little risk for the patient.
In fact, acupuncture is one of the treatments recommended for knee pain from osteoarthritis in national guidelines for physicians.
No two patients are treated alike
Acupuncture involves inserting hair-thin needles into the body to promote pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
Patients with knee arthritis respond particularly well to electro-acupuncture. When knee arthritis is mild or moderate, a limited number of sessions produce very good results. When arthritis is more advanced, or “bone-on-bone,” ongoing acupuncture may not be indicated.
Acupuncture can also be combined with conventional treatments, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and/or injections. In addition, acupuncture can provide short-term pain relief until knee replacement surgery is performed.
Many clinical studies support acupuncture’s ability to relieve osteoarthritis pain, particularly in the knee. One study of 18,000 patients found acupuncture to be helpful for many pain conditions, including knee osteoarthritis.
In addition to promoting an anti-inflammatory effect, studies show that acupuncture releases endogenous opioid endorphins (the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals).
Don’t let arthritis of the knee keep you in constant pain, and limit your ability to function and enjoy life.
Acupuncture is a good option to keep in mind to decrease pain, inflammation, and stiffness, and increase the range of motion, in your knee. And that can improve your overall quality of life, meaning you can better participate in all of your day-to-day activities, whether that’s at work, the park or the gym!