Researchers at the University of York say that of all the different types physical therapy that are available for osteoarthritis of the knee, acupuncture has proven to be the most effective. Let us take a look at this observation in greater detail.
Knee osteoarthritis is a painful condition which occurs when the cartilage at the knee joint which is meant to provide cushion between the bones wears away. This then causes pain and stiffness and the condition is quite common affecting nearly one in two. Unfortunately there is no cure for this condition, you can only take medicines and treat it with alternative treatments like acupuncture.
Knee pain due to knee osteoarthritis is a fairly common complaint in adults especially elderly. The knee is a complex and big joint in the body. It is made up of lower end of the thighbone (or femur), shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap. There are several muscles, tendons and ligaments which are attached to the knee joint that help to control the movement of knee. Owing its size and complex structure the joint is prone for osteoarthritis and injury. If you are overweight your risk of developing knee pain due to knee osteoarthritis is increased.
Anyone can develop knee pain but as people get older, the risk of injury to knee joint and knee pain due to knee osteoarthritis is increased. Athletes are also at risk of knee injuries and knee pain. Here are some other possible risk factors:
Acupuncture involves stimulating the points on the body which are known as acupuncture points and they are usually done by penetrating the skin with a needle. According to traditional Chinese medicine this then improves the flow of energy or ‘chi’ within the body and is thought to improve health conditions. It is believed that the disruption of this ‘chi’ energy is the root cause of diseases.
A study done on acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis found that acupuncture if done for extended period can help to relieve pain and improve the joint function in people with knee osteoarthritis. The study showed that treatment was needed for extended period, after 8 weeks of treatment improvement in function was observed and after 14 weeks an improvement in pain was seen. Acupressure and herbal medicine may also be recommended in conjunction with acupuncture for knee pain. You need not stop your other medications if you go for acupuncture. Acupuncture can be an effective and low-risk procedure, and safe procedure when performed by a properly trained and licensed practitioner.
There are certain risks involved with the procedure which can be averted if done from a well known and experienced practitioner. These risks include infection, bruising, and pain at the places where the needles were inserted on the skin.
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