Acupuncture/ pressureExerciseOsteoarthritisPainPhysiotherapy

Adding acupuncture to physiotherapy to treat osteoarthritis of the knee

No additional improvement in pain scores was reported in this study.

First, the details.

  • 352 adults with knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to 3 treatment groups.
  • Advice and exercise
  • Advice and exercise plus true acupuncture
  • Advice and exercise plus non-penetrating acupuncture

And, the results.

  • After 6 months of treatment there was no significant difference in pain score among the groups.
  • Compared with advice and exercise alone there were small, statistically significant improvements in pain intensity and unpleasantness at 2 and 6 weeks for true acupuncture and at all follow-up points for non-penetrating acupuncture.

The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “The addition of acupuncture to a course of advice and exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee delivered by physiotherapists provided no additional improvement in pain scores.”

Again, sham acupuncture confounds the evaluation of real acupuncture. More perspective on this issue is here.

8/17/07 10:46 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.