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.