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Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms Can be Relieved with Acupuncture

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Practiced as far back as 4,000 years ago in China, acupuncture is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. It became well-known in the United States when a New York Times journalist published an article about it in the early 1970s.

Not a single procedure in itself, acupuncture instead involves a number of techniques to generate a stimulating response in specific points on the body. This procedure, which has been one of the most studied alternative therapies around involves the penetration of metallic, solid, and filiform needles that are manipulated by hand into the skin or are augmented with mild electrical stimulation.

Acupuncture Has Risen in Popularity in the United States

Each year, more than 8 million Americans avail of acupuncture based on statistics provided by the National Health Interview Survey. These past two decades have seen an exponential rise in acupuncture use in this country.

The Importance of Seeking Out Licensed Practitioners for Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture needles for the use of licensed acupuncturists were first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1996.The use of nontoxic, sterile needles that are designed for one time use only are strictly required the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Each patient should be treated with disposable needles that came from a sealed package. The acupuncture points where these needles are to be inserted need to be swabbed with a disinfecting agent such as alcohol or Betadine prior to them being inserted with needles. A correct procedure greatly lessens the risk of complications.

Mixed Results from Studies Dealing with Acupuncture’s Effectiveness

A bulk of acupuncture studies has no clear cut conclusions about the treatment’s effectiveness. Several studies though, have suggested that acupuncture works for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

A six-month clinical study was done in 2004 and whose results were released by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). This study, participated in by about 500 individuals all of whom suffered from knee osteoarthritis and were all 50 years of age or above, was done to observe the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis over other modalities. The participants were divided into three groups with one group given conventional osteoarthritis treatment; another group treated with sham acupuncture and the last group treated with real acupuncture treatment.

The subjects in the study:

Had no surgery of the knee for half a year before the study started
Were not treated with injections or steroids
Have never had acupuncture treatment before, and
Were all suffering from knee pain for at least a month before the start of the study.

This study was sponsored by the NCCAM. At the end of eight weeks, the group treated with real acupuncture manifested better knee function compared to the other two groups. At the end of 14 weeks, the acupuncture group manifested significant pain relief compared to the other two groups. Overall, the acupuncture group had a 40% improvement in the function of their knee and also 40% betterment of their pain compared to the two other groups.

The Factors Involving Acupuncture Treatment

According to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), when the two vital energy polarities of yin (passive force) and yang (active force) in the body are imbalanced, disease occurs. The imbalance leads to blockage in the channels of vital energy known as meridians. Acupuncturists state that the human body has 8 secondary meridians, a dozen primary meridians and over 2000 acupuncture points. Western medical researchers believe that acupuncture mainly stimulates the nervous system that leads to the release and regulation of painkilling neurotransmitters.

Important Reminders

Before going for acupuncture treatment in Overland Park, you need to first talk to your doctor to discuss whether it’s a valid treatment option for your condition. If you get a green signal from your doctor, oftentimes, you need not stop your current treatment. Lastly, make sure you go to a licensed acupuncturist for treatment.

Written by Valerie

July 26th, 2015 at 1:59 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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