Acupuncture for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Degenerative Arthritis of Knee

Degenerative Arthritis of Knee

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of knee pain including osteoarthritis of the knee. Traditional Chinese medical theory has the view point that the kidneys play a role in the management of all bones in the body and as such, if the kidney function is impaired in someway, the bones will suffer. The bones can become weak, brittle and also become arthritic.

Recent research analysis involving nearly 4000 patients concluded that acupuncture provided significantly better relief for arthritis of the knee than standard medical care. The doctors who did the research are renowned orthopedic surgeons and have partaken in numerous other research projects.

Other medical researchers from the Peninsular Medical School in the United Kingdom also found that acupuncture can improve pain and function in patients with chronic knee pain. They also found that long term follow up still showed a significant difference.

Knee surgery is a billion dollar a year industry. Orthopedic surgeons do surgery known as arthroscopy for osteoarthritis of the knee even though they don’t know how or why it works. Only about half who have this procedure get relief from pain.

Research has even been conducted where they compared pretend surgery to real surgery and found that pretend surgery worked just as well.

It’s hard to imagine why health insurance companies and government funded healthcare pay up to $10,000 for knee surgery when pretend minimal cost surgery works just as well.

There are many other reasons as to why acupuncture can benefit the limited range of movement and pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Acupuncture has been shown to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer. In addition, the number of free floating stems cells increases and hence can help rejuvenate the diseased tissue.

Moxibustion is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis and patients comment that it’s warming effect penetrates very deeply and provides long lasting pain relief. Two acupuncture points known as the knee eyes are needled with the patient lying down and knees bent up so the action of the needle insertion can go under the platella.

Chinese herbal medicine is also used for osteoarthritis and herbs that strengthen the kidneys like sang ji shen are useful.


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About Heiko Lade

Hi, I'm Heiko Lade - qualified acupuncturist at The Acupuncture Clinic in Hastings, New Zealand. If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation and treatment, please contact me.


  1. Brian Martin says:

    Got a couple mates with bad knees – I am sure this would help.

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