Acupuncture was first used and introduced in China as a form of traditional medicine thousands of years ago. However, its relevance in the medical field, specifically in pain management, still reverberates until now, in the 21st century.
There might be limited use of this procedure in Western medicine, but that doesn’t stop it from outperforming conventional medications. In fact, studies have found that acupuncture can beat drugs in bringing long-term relief from knee pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.
As if that’s not enough, another study had proven acupuncture to be more effective than diclofenac in easing aches and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.
Keep on reading to know more about the benefits of this alternative medicine in Gainesville, FL, what conditions it can treat, and why it is better than drug medications.
How Does Acupuncture Treat Pain and Inflammation?
Acupuncture refers to a procedure of inserting very thin needles into your skin, targeting certain points of the body to alleviate specific conditions.
Western research has shown that this procedure works by stimulating the central nervous system to release specific hormones (e.g., endorphins) crucial for your body’s healing. These chemicals will then take effect and bring relief to some of the conditions you experience, such as pain in the knee joints or muscles.
In addition, acupuncture also helps control your body’s cortisol release, thus reducing swelling and preventing chronic inflammation. Due to these studies, many health experts recognized the effectiveness of alternative medicine, specifically in treating osteoarthritis.
In fact, the American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation recommended acupuncture as a pain management treatment option for patients with osteoarthritis in the hips, hands, and knees. Other chronic knee and joint conditions that acupuncture can treat according to science.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease affecting the joints.
- Fibromyalgia – a disease that affects the musculoskeletal system characterized by painful sensations.
- Gout – a form of inflammatory arthritis affecting the joints.
- Ankylosing spondylitis – another type of arthritis that causes lower back pain, hip aches, and knee pain.
4 Advantages of Acupuncture Against Pain-Relieving Drugs
Knee aches and inflammation may be caused by various conditions, from contact sports injury to gout. But according to several studies, osteoarthritis due to aging is the number one culprit of many knee pain and swelling.
Osteoarthritis refers to a disease wherein the cartilage of the bones breaks down over time. This may then cause discomfort and swelling in the affected area, especially when moving. Currently, this disease affects over 32.5 million Americans, wherein 50% are mostly seniors over the age of 65.
So far, science has yet to discover a cure for osteoarthritis. So, most doctors heavily rely on pharmacological approaches to treat and manage its symptoms. One example is the use of pain-relieving drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids.
However, the use of alternative therapies, like acupuncture, becomes increasingly appealing to both physicians and patients, and here’s why:
It has no side effects
If done by a trained and professional practitioner, acupuncture poses no risk nor any chronic side effects to your health. Of course, there’s the occasional bruising, soreness, or slight bleeding at the site of needle insertion, but nothing more serious than that.
Complications are exceedingly rare and can be avoided by talking with your acupuncturist about your medical history.
On the other hand, common drugs used for pain management (e.g., ibuprofen, diclofenac) tend to cause severe side effects over time. In addition, research suggests that these drugs increase one’s risk of developing upper GIT bleeding and ulcer.
Other medications used to treat osteoarthritis, such as COX-2 selective inhibitor, are not advocated for prolonged use due to increased risk for heart problems.
It is effective against pain, soreness, and inflammation.
Several research studies have already proven acupuncture’s effectiveness in relieving aches and improving function in people with knee arthritis.
But here’s what’s better: studies found that acupuncture together with herbal medicine is more effective in treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis than simple analgesics. Another investigation concluded that inserting needles into the acupoints has a faster and longer effect than ibuprofen.
It treats other health conditions.
Not only does acupuncture aid your knee problems, but it also treats other common conditions and disease symptoms, like:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Headache and migraine
- Shoulder pain
- Menstrual cramps
- Nausea and other labor pains
- Allergic rhinitis and other respiratory diseases
It improves overall health
Besides alleviating physical conditions, this alternative medicine can also help improve your mental and emotional well-being. For example, a single session can relieve tension and bring relaxation to your body, thus enhancing overall health and quality of life.
Where to Find the Best Acupuncturist in Gainesville, FL?
Are you looking for a holistic yet effective way to ease your knee swelling and discomfort? Have you been typing the phrase acupuncture for knee pain near me over and over again in Google? If so, then your endless search is over!
Here at Guan Physical Therapy & Acupuncture, we promote long-lasting relief from aches and pains using natural methods, like acupuncture and physical therapy. We offer high-quality treatment services and the best practice in Chinese medicine in the Gainesville, FL, area.
Our world-class acupuncturist Dr. Guan, whose family has practiced acupuncture for more than 130 years, provides individualized treatment options without the severe side effects of drugs and surgeries.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment so we can start working towards your healing journey.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.