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Acupuncture found to improve mobility in those with osteoarthritis of the knee

Acupuncture is a type of healing technique that has been shown to relieve pain, including those caused by osteoarthritis. In addition to this, it can also improve gait or mobility in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

In the study, a team of researchers from National Taiwan University and China Medical University looked at the effects of acupuncture on gait in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. To do this, the research team examined the immediate effects of acupuncture on the inter-joint and inter-limb load-sharing in patients with knee osteoarthritis during level walking in terms of the total support moment and the contribution of individual joints to the total support moment. For this, they looked at the mobility of 15 healthy controls and on 15 individuals with mild to moderate bilateral medial knee osteoarthritis who received acupuncture treatment.

Knee osteoarthritis often results in changes in balance control, joint motion, and loading patterns during gait or walking. Participants with bilateral knee osteoarthritis who received acupuncture treatment experienced a significant increase in speed mobility. Additionally, they were able to resist greater and closer-to-normal knee flexion moments.

Moreover, treatment with acupuncture improved the inter-joint sharing of the support moments with increased knee contributions, but reduced hip contributions to the sagittal support moment during single-limb support. The participants treated with acupuncture also exhibited an asymmetric inter-limb load-sharing like the normal controls, with increased sharing of the time integral of both the sagittal and frontal whole-body support moment by the leading limb during double-limb support.

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With these results, the research team concluded that acupuncture treatment could lead to immediate changes in mobility among people with knee osteoarthritis. (Related: Treating knee osteoarthritis naturally through whole body mechanical vibration combined with acupuncture for reducing pain.)

Acupuncture heals more than just arthritis

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that has been used for thousands of years already. It is based on the belief that a blockage or disturbance in the flow of the body’s life energy called “qi” can cause health problems. Acupuncturists insert thin needles to specific points throughout the body to improve the flow of qi. This, in turn, promotes healing and relaxation. This healing art is also used in TCM for anxiety, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, fertility, insomnia, headaches, nausea, sciatica, sinus congestion, stress, tinnitus, and weight loss.

Other studies have also examined the benefits of acupuncture. Here are some of them:

  • Low back pain: Acupuncture can be beneficial to people with low back pain, according to a report published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. In this paper, researchers examined previously published trials on the use of non-pharmacologic therapies, including acupuncture, for low back pain. The researchers discovered that acupuncture was linked to reduced pain intensity and better function right after acupuncture treatment.
  • Migraines: A review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has analyzed the findings of 22 previously published trials on acupuncture and migraine. The review authors found that adding acupuncture to the treatment of migraine symptoms may decrease the frequency of episodes.
  • Tension headaches: Researchers found in a 2016 review of trials published in The Cochrane Library that receiving at least six sessions of acupuncture may be beneficial to people who often experience tension headaches. Acupuncture, combined with another form of therapy, reduced headache frequency.
  • Knee pain: In addition to reducing pain due to knee osteoarthritis, acupuncture can help with pain management after surgery. A review published in JAMA Surgery found that acupuncture helped patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery manage the pain they felt after the procedure.

Acupuncture has many healing benefits. Learn more at

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