Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular in treating knee pain in children and adults. The knee is the largest and most complicated joint in the body. Several muscles, tendons, bones and cartilage make up the complex joint. Knees can be frequently and easily injured do to not only the complexity of the joint but also because the joint is almost always in use. The knee is one of the most frequently examined body parts by general practitioners and orthopedists. Acupuncture is an alternative form of medicine that can help with different types of knee pain without surgery or medications
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a practice where thin needles are strategically placed around the area being treated to stimulate muscles, nerves and connective tissue. The needles are very thin and typically cause little to no discomfort. A treatment consists of a range of five to twenty needles. The needles will be left in place for 10 to 20 minutes and may be manipulated by gentle movement or applying heat or electricity.
How Acupuncture Helps Knee Pain
Acupuncture can help relieve pain and improve function in people that suffer from osteoarthritis. A 1999 study compared the use of electro acupuncture to ice massage and transcutaneous nerve stimulation for people who have osteoarthritis. The patients reported decreased pain and stiffness while increasing muscle strength and motion.
Smaller studies have also shown acupuncture to reduce knee pain and stiffness. One study suggested that patients suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome may also benefit from weekly treatments.
Why Should I Try Acupuncture?
If you have stubborn knee pain that has not responded to other treatments, if you prefer not to take medications, or if you are even looking for something to ease your knee pain prior to an upcoming surgery, this may be the answer you are looking for. For some patients acupuncture ends up being an alternative option that helps them avoid surgery completely.
As with any form of medicine, not all patients may respond to treatment so be sure to discuss the options with your Doctor.