Acupuncture Seen as Viable Supplement in Treating Osteoarthritis

Acupuncture Seen as Viable Supplement in  Treating Osteoarthritis Blog  Osteoarthritis Treatment Acupuncture

Osteoarthritis is a painful and potentially debilitating condition affecting the joints of the human body, especially the knee joint. Approximately 10 percent all Americans aged 55 years or older suffer from knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. Medications are often used in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. However, a recent study indicates that acupuncture treatment in conjunction with medication is more effective in treating such pain than drug therapy alone.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis symptoms are caused by the wearing down of the surfaces of the joints and related tissue. The pain develops as the underlying bones are exposed and come in contact. The pain may be accompanied by restriction in movement of the joint and often swelling of the affected area.

Alternative Osteoarthritis Treatment

In the recent study, 55 patients suffering from joint pain were divided into three groups. One group received acupuncture twice a week and another was given a placebo, actually a fictitious technique that resembled acupuncture. Those in the third group were only given drugs to treat their knee pain.

Evaluated at the end of the therapy and a month after the final session, those who received either the actual or fictitious acupuncture care had less pain in their knees than those who were exclusively treated with medication. In addition to pain relief, patients in the first two groups experienced an improvement in their overall health.

The Value of Acupuncture

Such stories of success can account for why this Eastern method of treating pain has received greater recognition in the West in recent decades. Those seeking treatment for osteoarthritis may find relief in a visit to the nearest acupuncture clinic.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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