A 2017 evaluation not only were results reflecting and reported here but comparisons towards cost effectiveness were also observed. What this means is acupuncture was found to not only be a means of pain management for knee pain but it was also cost effective. These are critical factors in an era when opioid alternatives are essential. Acupuncture can save money, relive the patient pain, and also result in no side effects. Acupuncture can also stave off the progression of OA.
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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 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. 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 now recommended as a first line of defense against pain in national guidelines for physicians.
No two patients treated alike
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine, with a rich history and lineage dating back thousands of years. It involves inserting hair-thin needles into the body to promote pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
No two patients are treated alike. Some patients find relief with needles alone. Others need a more involved technique, such as electro-acupuncture with the outvpn technology (technically called percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or PENS).
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 is needed.
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.
Acupuncture’s proven benefits
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.
Besides promoting an anti-inflammatory effect, studies show that acupuncture releases endogenous opioid endorphins (the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals).