“More than 20 million Americans have osteoarthritis. This disease is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among adults,” said Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., “Thus, seeking an effective means of decreasing osteoarthritis pain and increasing function is of critical importance.” Since August 1995, Dr. Katz has been the Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
Acupuncture should be the first line of defense to help restore joint function and decrease pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee according to Dr. Hugh MacPherson, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK.
Dr. MacPherson bases this bold statement on a systemic review conducted at the University of York which analyzed 114 trials that included 9,709 patients. The goal was to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture to other physical treatments. The results are published in Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 September; 21(9): 1290–1298.
Dr. MacPherson states, “Most international guidance for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee doesn’t include acupuncture, but it has probably got the best outcome across all the physical therapies.”
An earlier study, at the University of Maryland in the United States, shows that Acupuncture provides pain relief and improves joint function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Acupuncture serves as an effective complement to standard care. This landmark study was led by Brian M. Berman, M.D., Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine and Professor of Family Medicine at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and NIAMS, both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The findings of the study — the longest and largest randomized, controlled phase III clinical trial of acupuncture conducted at the time —were published in the December 21, 2004, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine *. Overall, those who received acupuncture had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function compared to baseline assessments.
“For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size, and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee,” said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. “These results also indicate that acupuncture can serve as an effective addition to a standard regimen of care and improve quality of life for knee osteoarthritis sufferers.
NCCAM has been building a portfolio of basic and clinical research that is now revealing the power and promise of applying stringent research methods to ancient practices like acupuncture.”
For over 10 years, I have helped many people with Acupuncture and bodywork. A large percentage of my patients suffer with osteoarthritis. Many have experienced a decrease in pain and improved joint function. In some cases, the improvement is immediate and dramatic. However for most of my patients 4 to 6 treatments yield remarkable results. The techniques I have developed enable my patients to achieve improvement in all the joints of the body.
Many people who suffer from osteoarthritis may not be ideal surgical candidates due to other medical problems that increase the danger inherent with surgery. Others may not be able to tolerate the medication that is routinely prescribed for pain and inflammation of the joints. Some patients may be unable to comply with a regimen of physical therapy due to pain.
Acupuncture is a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment for pain and immobility throughout the body.
No drugs are used in the treatment of painful joints. There are no side effects.
Please consider acupuncture if you or a family member is suffering from pain and impaired mobility. I welcome the opportunity to help those people who prefer to try a natural alternative to achieve health and wellbeing.