Want to avoid knee surgery for osteoarthritis acupuncture may provide the answer
Knee osteoarthritis the most common form of osteoarthritis affects more than 10 million Americans enduring symptoms such as pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Many people seek out surgery as an option to relieve pain and increase function. However, researchers note that one in seven patients will still experience pain years later.View slideshow: Alternative therapies for knee osteoarthritis
If surgery is not the answer for some patients with osteoarthritis than what really does work to remove the pain, stiffness and increase function, according to researchers the answer may be in acupuncture.
Researchers had found patients treated with acupuncture had shown remarked improvements in the areas of pain, stiffness and functioning. Not only does acupuncture help with the symptoms but just may be a low cost alternative to having surgery.
In 2008, two pain clinics that offered acupuncture for treating knee osteoarthritis had been set up in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England and afterward NHS patients were monitored for a period of two years. Specially trained acupuncture nurses conducted the acupuncture sessions in order to determine if this therapy could improve care while reducing costs and if it was a feasible alternative to costly knee replacement surgery. Out of 114 patients offered acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis pain, 90 patients had accepted and received treatments.
Patients received once weekly acupuncture treatments for one month and then one session every six weeks. On average 16.5 treatments were received with 41 patients still receiving treatments after one year and 31 patients after two years.
MYMOP (a patient generalized or individual outcome questionnaire) had been used to measure functional capacity, control of symptoms and well-being. The scores had revealed clinically remarked improvements in pain levels, stiffness and functional capacity after one month of acupuncture treatment.
Through the two years of monitoring the improvements had continued which were assessed at six month intervals using MYMOP.
Researchers based on conjecture that only two-thirds of patients would use acupuncture treatments they calculated that acupuncture could save the NHS around 100,000 pounds a year or around $124,000 in U. S. currency.
Researchers at the University of Maryland one of the largest studies published in the December 21, 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine had demonstrated that acupuncture can provide significant pain relief and improve functioning for knee osteoarthritis.
More information on knee osteoarthritis can be viewed online at the Mayo Clinic.