Knee arthritis? Acupuncture better than Physiotherapy!

by | Jun 14, 2017 | Acupuncture for pain management, Acupuncture in York

A new study has shown how Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture achieved far better results for the treatment of osteoarthritis in the knee, when compared to physiotherapy.

The small-scale study involved 50 patients with knee osteoarthritis (the ‘wear and tear’ type of arthritis, as opposed to rheumatoid arthritis) being randomly assigned to receive either TCM Acupuncture or physiotherapy.

The Acupuncture was delivered via 7 acupuncture points on the knee, once every other day, for 4 weeks.  Those in the physiotherapy group received treatment 5 times a week, for 4 weeks.

Both groups experienced an improvement in symptoms, but those in the Acupuncture group reported;

  • Better improvements in total symptom scores
  • Better improvements in pain, stiffness, and physical function
  • Significant improvements in joint hydration and the biochemical composition of the cartilage, as measured by the rate of cartilage degeneration on MRI scans

These changes in joint hydration and cartilage composition were not seen at all in the physiotherapy group, and suggest the Acupuncture may be promoting cartilage repair.

Given that 10% of over-55 year olds in the UK suffer with knee osteoarthritis, and around 25% of these people are severely disabled by it, these study results are an important finding for sufferers wishing to choose more effective and sustainable treatment options.

Acupuncture and Moxa

Previous studies have found moxibustion to be helpful for osteoarthritis: this can be used alone, or as part of an Acupuncture treatment.  Moxa is a dried herb preparation made from mugwort.  The herb is burned, and the heat supports the movement of Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) around the body.  It gives a wonderful warming and relaxing sensation!

How does TCM Acupuncture relieve knee osteoarthritis?

Each Acupuncture patient in the study mentioned above received the same treatment, using the same Acupuncture points, so that the treatments remained standardised and could be compared accurately.  In my own Clinic, I treat each person as the unique individual they are so your treatment may be different to someone else who has the same problem.

The needling works by;

  • Stimulating nerves in your muscles and knee joint that release natural pain-releasing endorphins and alter the way your brain processes pain
  • Inhibiting inflammatory chemicals in your body
  • Modulating the actions of natural opioid chemicals in your nervous system
  • Aiding microcirculation to ease swelling and fluid retention in your knee

Acupuncture is safe and effective, and can be used alongside conventional medications.  My approach is truly holistic so I will also discuss lifestyle and diet suggestions to support the actions of your Acupuncture treatment;

  • Gentle movement and exercise (yoga and Tai Chi are especially helpful)
  • Drinking plenty of warm or room temperature water to support joint hydration and removal of waste toxins
  • Including natural warming and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices in your diet such as turmeric, ginger, and black pepper.

Is knee pain limiting YOUR life?

Would you like to regain your joint movement, flexibility, and strength?

Call me, Tiziana, NOW on 07788 633292 or email at

I’ve been voted one of UK’s top 3 acupuncturists – you can read over 85 unbiased 5-star reviews from satisfied clients here.