Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Written by: DrTonyWillcox | Jun 11, 2020


Joint Pain

The most common form of knee pain is Osteoarthritis of the knee. This occurs mostly in people over fifty years old. Some patients may have the effects of this condition earlier in life dependant upon predisposition, constitution, and genetics. Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis of the knee have seen great benefits with the inception of acupuncture therapy. Many top-rated hospitals and clinics such as Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic advocate the benefits of acupuncture for this knee condition amongst other ailments.


Common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, swelling, inflammation, and stiffness. The range of motion may be impaired in particular in the morning after waking or after resting. This condition may also become exacerbated after movement or exercise due to the “wear and tear” condition with the cartilage deterioration.

Mostly the pain develops over time and comes on gradually. Fragments of the cartilage may become loose and interfere with the smooth motion of the joint and create discomfort including locking or stiffening and or a creaking noise in the joint called crepitus. Often a patient with this condition will feel worse when the weather turns cold, damp, or rainy. We will explore and go into more detail on this below.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Over the counter medications or prescription medications often are prescribed to decrease pain and inflammation to improve the quality of daily living for patients with this diagnosis. Cortisone shots are also a standard in western medicine for knee complaints.

Physical therapy is commonly indicated by orthopedic doctors for relief of pain and to improve function in those with osteoarthritis of the knee or after having knee surgery.  However more and more medical doctors are being turned on to the benefits of Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Acupuncture provides a scientific and clinically effaceable treatment for Osteoarthritis.

Knee Pain Treatment in China with Dr. Tony

Patient receiving acupuncture for osteoarthritis


Acupuncture and Osteoarthritis of the Knee have been studied in depth. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting 80% of those aged 65 or older. Acupuncture is used in hospitals in China for this condition as well. Cupping is also used for this condition to relieve pain and swelling and to facilitate circulation and blood and lymphatic movement.

Patient receiving cupping for osteoarthritis of the knee in China.

The typical disease pattern in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory with arthritis is linked with the pathogen of Wind, Damp, and Cold. This sounds irrelevant to the western minded patient unless you are a patient of acupuncture. Your therapist will have given you an understanding of Wind, Damp, Cold, and its relevance to your knee pain. Exacerbated pain or swelling when the weather pattern changes to cold or the air or environment is damp or there is excess wind is intrinsically linked to this condition in TCM. You may find your pain moving and or increasing.

We are products of our environment literally and figuratively. I suggest looking deeper into this therapy. Research 5 elements and how these are to be in relevant harmony for the harmonious function of the human body. You may want to look into Qi and Blood and get some understanding of how acupuncture theory and application of these principles can improve your life.

Dr. Tony Willcox

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