Reported in CMI (Healthcare Medicine Institute), acupuncture combined with herbs is effective for the relief of knee osteoarthritis pain. Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) researchers conducted a controlled trial and concluded that acupuncture with herbs is both safe and effective. No harmful side effects resulted from the treatment regimen and patients demonstrated significant improvements. The researchers document significant reductions in knee pain with concomitant joint function improvement.
The researchers conducted a highly controlled experiment wherein acupuncture point prescriptions were standardized to a set of specific acupuncture points with predetermined manual acupuncture stimulation procedures. Two acupuncture protocols were compared between treatment groups. One group received acupuncture with herbs in what was termed the Shi treatment procedure. The other protocol of care employed only a standard set of acupuncture points without the use of herbal medicine.
The Shi acupuncture with herbs technique outperformed the acupuncture only group.
Comment: While the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating osteoarthritis remains controversial, more and more studies support its use since the side effect profile is so low.
How does Tai chi compare with physical therapy for treating knee osteoarthritis? Next
Tai chi equivalent to Physical therapy for knee oa.
Sara Freeman writing for Rheumatology News reported that a study performed at Tufts University showed that tai chi is as effective as standard physical therapy in reducing pain and improving physical function according to a double blind controlled analysis. This benefit did not vary among the four tai chi instructors.
Caroline Price writing in Medwire reported on a study published in Acupuncture in Medicine finding that “nurse-led group acupuncture clinics for patients with knee osteoarthritis [knee OA] offer a cost-effective alternative to surgery.” The study covered the experience of “two acupuncture clinics specifically for knee pain, with nurses providing the treatment to groups of patients to save costs,” in which “90 (79 percent) out of a total of 114 patients with a clinical or radiological diagnosis of osteoarthritis accepted the offer of acupuncture rather than direct referral to an orthopedic surgeon.”
Interesting and refreshing that
there might be a low risk option to going to an orthopod and getting cut on…
A recent study from Germany showed that a treatment series of 15 acupuncture settings produced significantly greater pain relief than sham acupuncture or conservative treatment in patients with chronic shoulder pain not due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. This benefit lasted for at least three months after the treatment. Findings were published in the Journal of Pain.