Acupuncture – the alternative therapy that isn’t supposed to work – can relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis so effectively that surgery isn’t needed.
Patients were still saying they weren’t feeling any pain even two years after acupuncture, whereas, by then, one in seven of those who have conventional surgery complain of suffering severe pain.
Knee arthritis affects around 17 per cent of the over-50s who suffer significant pain. The most common remedy is knee surgery, although this is offered only when the pain is constant and walking becomes almost impossible.
A group of 90 sufferers, with an average age of 71 years, were treated with acupuncture. In each case, the arthritis was so severe that it warranted surgery. Instead, they were given acupuncture once a week for a month, and then once every six weeks. Thirty-one were still having regular acupuncture sessions two years later.
In each case, the patients reported a dramatic reduction in pain, stiffness, and an improvement in mobility. The improvements were so dramatic that none needed to have surgery. (Source: Acupuncture in Medicine, 2012; doi:10.1136/acupmed-2012-010151).