Osteoarthritis :: Easing the pain with acupuncture
Can the ancient healing art of acupuncture help relieve the persistent pain of osteoarthritis? Recently, a landmark study demonstrated that acupuncture not only provides pain relief, but also improves function for people suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee, the most common form of the disease.
The largest-ever clinical trial of acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health.
The trial results, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, support the healing art as a beneficial component in the standard of care for people suffering from the painful condition. The multisite study team, including rheumatologists and licensed acupuncturists, enrolled 570 patients aged 50 or older with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Participants experienced significant knee pain before joining the study but had never experienced acupuncture. The results were clear.
For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size, and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee.