Electro-Acupuncture is Beneficial for Knee Osteoarthritis

When your knee aches, you can’t walk easily. Climbing up and downstairs is a challenge. Pain wakes you up at night. Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common causes of chronic knee pain. It causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness, making it hard to flex and extend your knee.

What causes knee osteoarthritis? 

While age is a significant risk factor for knee osteoarthritis, young people can get it, too. Repetitive joint force or trauma regularly increases their risk of developing osteoarthritis. Trauma or repetitive pressure causes the cartilage cells called chondrocytes to burst, which creates inflammation. Joints like the hip and knee are typically affected by osteoarthritis. These joints are lubricated by a natural substance called synovial fluid. The damage to the cartilage causes the chondrocytes to flake apart and absorb synovial fluid, which decreases the amount of lubricant in the joint. Reducing joint lubrication increases friction between the joint bones, which accelerates joint decay and causes more inflammation and degenerative bone changes. Essentially, this makes young joints look and feel old in a relatively short amount of time.

How can acupuncture help? 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, OA is classified into arthralgia. Deficiency of liver and kidney, energy and nutrition results in the wind, cold and damp staying in the weak joints. Furthermore, meridians are obstructed, leading to an unsmooth flowing of energy and food. As a result, joints lose being nourished, and pain occurs. 

With the characteristics of deficiency and stasis of energy and nutrition, the therapeutic principle for OA should be promoting energy to activate circulation to acquire the efficacy of dredging meridians and easing pain. The regulations should be complied with for the local area’s acupoints and distance points along meridians. 

📍 Many clinical studies support acupuncture’s ability to relieve knee osteoarthritis, particularly in 2016; Yan Zhang et al. published a landmark paper in >The American Journal of Translational Research which demonstrated how electroacupuncture could regenerate joint cartilage in the knees of people with MRI-documented osteoarthritis. In the study, subjects did pre and post MRIs to evaluate knee osteoarthritis before and after electroacupuncture treatment. After four weeks, the electroacupuncture group significantly decreased pain, and MRIs showed distinct evidence of cartilage regrowth and repair. So although joint trauma can accelerate future joint degeneration, there is still a lot you can do to stop osteoarthritis from taking over.

❤️ When working with patients suffering from osteoarthritis, emphasize that systemic inflammation is the enemy and that developing a multi approach, including lifestyle, diet, supplementation, and non-invasive therapies, will improve their recovery rate and return to normal activities.

Acupuncture is an effective evidence-based treatment option for managing knee pain and osteoarthritis. It helps decrease pain, inflammation, and stiffness and increases the range of motion in your knee. And that can improve your overall quality of life. 


 Zhang, Yan, Fei Bao, Yan Wang, and Zhihong Wu. “Influence of acupuncture in treatment of knee osteoarthritis and cartilage repairing.” American journal of translational research 8, no. 9 (2016): 3995.

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