New research discovers acupuncture and moxibustion is effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. The researchers concluded that acupuncture was both safe and effective. In addition, acupuncture and moxibustion showed long term results.
Acupuncture points were chosen based on local pain indications and syndrome differentiation. Both local and distal acupuncture were applied on the affected acupuncture meridians. Acupuncture was applied to UB23 (BL23, Shenshu) and local Ah Shi points with lifting, thrusting and rotating techniques. Reinforcing and reducing methods were applied according to differential diagnostics. Moxibustion was applied with a moxa stick over local painful sites following acupuncture. Acupuncture was applied once per day for 5 days comprising 1 session. A two day break between a total of 2 sessions was given.
Another group did not received acupuncture but instead received a treatment of oral supplements and injections. In a comparison of the two groups, acupuncture was found significantly more effective in the long-term relief of knee pain due to osteoarthritis over the supplement/injection group. The second group received oral administration of glucosamine sulfate combined with knee joint cavity injections. The injections included sodium hyaluronate and triamcinolone acetonide acetate.
The results of this study demonstrating the effectiveness of acupuncture and moxibustion for the treatment of knee pain are consistent with a recent meta-analysis of 14 randomly controlled trials involving a total of 3,835 patients. The meta-analysis published the following conclusion, “Acupuncture provided significantly better relief from knee osteoarthritis pain and a larger improvement in function than sham acupuncture, standard care treatment, or waiting for further treatment.” The study documented that acupuncture for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis is “better at relieving pain and restoring function” than both conventional biomedical care and sham acupuncture.”
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Gao J, Ouyang BS, Zhang Y, Li J, Yang HZ, Ji LL, Wu YJ, Wang W. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Suzhou Hospital of TCM, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.