Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Knee Pain and Acupuncture

Knee Pain Treatment in Fairfax, VA

If you live with knee pain due to injuries or arthritic condition, you know what a challenge it can be to find relief from joint pain and other symptoms. But there are many things you can do to manage and control your knee pain, and live a healthy, active life.  Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be powerful additions to any treatment plan, without causing harmful side effects.

Knee Injury and Tendonitis

Injuries to knee are very common, and they occur in people of all ages. Knee pain can interfere with many things in your daily activities, from playing sports to simply getting up from a chair and walking. This can have a big impact on your life.

The  knee is made up of many important structures and susceptible to various types of injuries. It is made up of bone, cartilage, meniscus, ligaments and tendons. Any structure can be injured, especially during sports activities. The most common knee injuries include sprains and tears of ligaments, dislocations, and fractures. In many cases, injuries involve more than one structure in the knee. Pain and swelling are the most common signs of knee injury.

Injuries to ligaments and tendons cause knee problems. A common injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).  ACL is usually injured by a sudden twisting motion. ACL and other knee injuries are common sports injuries.

Knee Pain and Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis, affecting more than 21 million Americans. It occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, usually affecting the knees, hips, and hands.

Some factors can increase your risk, including a joint injury, being overweight, aging, and genetics. Putting stress on a joint through repetitive motion can also increase your risk.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Treatment of knee problems depends on the cause.

X-Ray of Knee ArthritisWestern medicine generally focuses on relieving pain and preventing further joint damage. Often this is done through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications, as well as through self-care and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may even be needed.

Acupuncture offers a safe, natural way to control knee joint pain and other symptoms and maintain overall health. In fact, a 2004 study showed that patients with arthritic knee experienced a 40 percent decrease in pain and a 40 percent increase in function after receiving a series of acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture for Knee Pain Relief

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) take a whole-body approach to health.

Causes of Arthritic Knee Pain from a TCM perspective

  • Weakness or deficiency of the internal organs
  • Constitutional imbalance
  • Physical injury and/or trauma
  • Changes with the quality and quantity of Qi
  • Blockage or inadequate flow of Qi
  • Invasion from external factors such as Wind, Cold and Heat
  • Unresolved emotional upset, mainly related to stress and anxiety

According to these theories, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. It flows through pathways called meridians, providing nourishment for every cell, tissue, muscle and organ. When there is an imbalance or blockage in the flow of Qi, physical symptoms may result.

During treatment, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupoints along the meridians in order to unblock any obstruction and allow Qi to flow freely.

Dr. Kim may also recommend herbal remedies, stretching and therapeutic exercises.

“I can not see a better solution to long-term chronic pain. There is no question in my mind that acupuncture is safer than surgery or drugs.”
—Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, Neuroscientist, University of Toronto

WHAT YOU CAN DO

It’s important to remember that there is no “quick fix” for arthritic knee pain, and it may take time to achieve results. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help you find relief faster.

  • Exercise can help increase your flexibility, strengthen muscles and bones, and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Diet is another important issue. Stick to a healthy diet made up of a wide variety of unprocessed, organic foods. Your acupuncturist may also suggest adding natural anti-inflammatories to your diet.
  • Stress relief can also help. By learning to identify your stressors and lowering your stress through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi, you can improve your state of mind and your health.
  • Maintaining balance in your life is also key. A balance of rest and relaxation with activity and exercise will keep you feeling your best.

By working closely with chiropractor and acupuncture practitioner in Fairfax, you will be taking charge of your knee pain and taking a step toward a healthier life.

 

References:
Berman BM, Lao L, Langenberg P, Lee WL, Gilpin AMK, Hochberg MC. Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Adjunctive Therapy in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004; 141 (12):901-910.
What is Osteoarthritis? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. September 2006.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. May 2005.
Joswick, Diane L.Ac. Acupuncture for Arthritis. 2006.
Osteoarthritis Fact Sheet. Arthritis Foundation. 2005.