Acupuncture for chronic knee pain
Chronic knee pain affects many people aged 50 and older and is associated with declines in physical function. Acupuncture and laser acupuncture has been used increasingly in recent years but the benefits for knee pain are debated.
The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of laser and needle acupuncture for chronic knee pain. A total of 282 patients with chronic knee pain were included in a 12-week treatment program where they either received: No acupuncture (control group, n = 71) needle (n = 70), laser (n = 71), or sham laser (n = 70) acupuncture. 20-minute treatments were delivered once or twice weekly for 12 weeks, with a maximum of 12 treatments.
Compared with control, needle and laser acupuncture resulted in modest improvements in pain at 12 weeks but not at 1 year. Among patients older than 50 years with moderate to severe chronic knee pain, neither laser nor needle acupuncture benefited over sham for pain or function at 1 year. These findings do not support acupuncture for these patients.
> From: Hinman et al., JAMA 13 (2014) 1313-1322. All rights reserved to American Medical Association. Click here for the Pubmed summary.