Knee pain often needs immediate attention. It can render a person disabled when left unchecked, and recovery can take anywhere from weeks to years without addressing the source of the pain. Some may not even fully recover. Fortunately, there is acupuncture for knee pain.
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine, has existed for thousands of years. It involves using ultra thin needles on specified places on the body to elicit a physiological response. It has anti-inflammatory effects, relieves pain and even treats conditions.
Many people prefer acupuncture to other treatments. It has been shown in thousands of studies to be safe and effective for a variety of conditions. It also does not involve the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which can be harmful to the body.
Types of Knee Problems
Knee pain results from bad habits, injury, or medical condition. The most common complaints of patients involve the tendons, bones and cartilage. Below are some conditions that can be addressed with acupuncture.
Knee fracture occurs when at least a bone in the knee has been damaged. This can range from being a bend to being completely broken into pieces. It is caused by accidents such as falling and receiving a direct blow towards the knee.
Symptoms include bruising, swelling, and pain right after the accident. Despite the severity of the fracture, the patient must be given immediate medical attention.
Treatment and Recovery
The type of treatment used depends on the injury. If a bone is out of alignment, it may or may not require a surgery to put it back in place. If the fracture is accompanied by an open wound, it will need extra care to keep the area from being infected.
The average recovery time of a fracture is six to eight weeks. Patients who recover longer may be due to the severity of the injury, age, and other existing medical conditions. Fortunately, acupuncture is beneficial to patients with fracture.
Research shows that patients who receive acupuncture on top of medical treatment recover better. It heals pain and swelling faster. It also promotes a more complete recovery of the affected knee.
Knee osteoarthritis keeps the upper and lower limbs from moving harmoniously. It is the wearing away of the cartilage between the joints. As a result, the ends of the thigh bone and shin bone that meet together begin to painfully rub against each other.
Various factors cause this condition such as age, lifestyle, and family history. It is common and affects millions of people worldwide. Symptoms include popping sounds, swelling, and gradual or rapid onset of pain.
Treatment and Recovery
Currently within the standard of care, there is no official treatment recognized for osteoarthritis, only therapies for symptomatic relief. Patients try to manage the condition instead. Others who can no longer manage it undergo knee replacement surgery.
Fortunately, acupuncture helps relieves acute and chronic pain from this condition. Research shows that it treats swelling and helps the body release natural chemicals that relieve pain.
Meniscus, the cushion between joints, is often referred to as a “shock absorber”. It keeps bones healthy and prevents the development of conditions such as arthritis.
Anyone can experience meniscal tears. It is often caused by a forceful knee twist or lifting something heavy. Athletes are most susceptible to this condition.
Treatment and Recovery
Like most conditions, treatment for meniscal tears differs for every person. Some patients need to undergo surgery. Others only need to slow down and allow their meniscus to heal on its own.
The average recovery time can take from three weeks to six months. However, patients receiving acupuncture on top of their rehabilitation experience better results. It reduces pain, swelling, and locking of the knee, and speeds up recovery.
Process of Acupuncture
One session of acupuncture lasts from 30 minutes to an hour. Before the session starts, the acupuncturist will ask the patient what he wants to achieve. This is the best time to address the acupuncturist of existing medical conditions.
Next, the patient will be asked to sit or lie down. Each patient receives a different treatment protocol, with different acupuncture points needles based on the cause of symptoms.
The needles are retained for half of the duration of the session. Then, the acupuncturist will remove the needles.
Patients are asked to drink a bit more water than usual after a session. The patient will also be asked to stay away from rigorous activities, as the body is in the state of healing and recovery.
Who can perform acupuncture?
Every state has a different law on who can perform acupuncture. However, it is recommended that patients seek professional acupuncturists who are licensed in their state. The level of training of the acupuncturist makes a tremendous difference in the outcome and results of the treatment.