In a randomized study involving 121 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, treatment with acupuncture plus manipulative regulation of knee muscle balance was found to significantly reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, as sodium sustained release tablets (Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Zipsor which are all NSAIDs). Patients were divided into a treatment group (n=63 cases involving 83 knees, 47 females, 16 males, average age: 60 years), and a control group (n=58 cases involving 73 knees, 45 females, 13 males, average age: 58 years). Appraisal scores of symptoms and physical signs index in the treatment group reduced from 39.81 to 9.69 (compared to 39.89 to 13.62 among controls), the numerical scale of pain reduced from 7.61 to 2.17 (compared to 7.55 to 3.34), joint function reduced from 1.47 to 0.61 (compared to 1.33 to 0.93), and joint swelling reduced from 1.23 to 0.42 (compared to 0.97 to 0.58 in the control group). While both groups experienced reductions in symptoms, those in the acupuncture plus manipulative therapy group were found to have a better therapeutic effect in terms of scores of symptoms and physical signs index, numerical rating scale of pain, and joint function. After the treatment period, 12 patients in the treatment group were considered “clinically cured,” as compared to 5 in the control group. 48 patients in the treatment group were found to have “remarkable effects” as compared to 31 in the control group, 19 were found to have “good” effects, as compared to 34 in the control group, and 4 were found “ineffective” as compared to 3 in the control group. When the patients were followed up with three months post-treatment, these numbers were 8, 42, 27, and 6 in the treatment group, as compared to 5, 21, 37, and 10, in the control group. The authors conclude, “Acupuncture plus manipulative regulation of knee muscle balance can effectively improve the clinical symptoms and knee joint’s motor function of patients with knee osteoarthritis, and can avoid the further development of disease. It is a proved effective method for knee osteoarthritis.”
“[Clinical study on the treatment of knee osteoarthritis by acupuncture plus manipulative regulation of knee muscle],” Sun K, Bao XM, et al, Zhongguo Gu Shang, 2010 Dec; 23(12): 895-8. (Address: Acupuncture-Moxibustion Hospital Affiliated to Anhui College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hefei 230061, Anhui, China. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ).