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Knee osteoarthritis affects the the cartilage, which is basically when
the "cushion" between the bones wears away. This can be a debilitating
condition, causing plenty of pain and stiffness. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition affects nearly
one in two people by the time they reach age 85.
Currently, there's no cure for the condition although it's often treated with drugs, therapy and sometimes even surgery. But a small new study shows that acupuncture could be a viable option to relieve symptoms.
The study, published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine, involved 90 people with an average age of 71 who had knee pain caused by osteoarthritis which was severe enough to merit surgery. The researchers found that undergoing acupuncture treatments for
one month seemed to decrease pain and stiffness that comes with
osteoarthritis, and that the benefits continued over the two-year period.
This is not the first time acupuncture has been identified as a possible treatment for osteoarthritis symptoms. A 2004 study in the same journal also showed that pain symptoms were decreased when study participants either only received acupuncture, or acupuncture plus medications.
As for what exactly is it about acupuncture that seems to provide its healing effects, the experts still aren't totally sure. But at least is a holistic option for patients.