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 Acupuncture Proven To Ease Knee Pain
Submitted by runnerswife :: Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:50 pm
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that acupuncture does decrease pain among patients with osteoarthritis, as reported by NPR on December 20. A group of arthritis patients received "real" acupuncture while a control group received "sham" acupuncture where the needles didn't penetrate the skin, and another control group received "arthritis education." The group receiving "real" acupuncture showed improved function after 8 weeks and reduced pain and improved function after 26 weeks.

Acupuncture treats only pain, it cannot "cure" osteoarthritis by making cartiledge regrow in any way. This raises the question: is it useful for other types of knee pain? Could it be part of a training or rehab regimen for elite runners? Or extend the career of some older runners?

Several news agencies are presenting these findings as an alternative to pain killers which have recently been linked to an increase in the rate of heart attacks. However, this study did not address any possible side effects of acupuncture.

A summary of the findings can be found at the Annals of Internal Medicine web site.

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