Acupuncture for knee pain

Acupuncture for knee pain caused by Osteoarthritis


The main symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee are: 

  • pain (particularly when you’re moving your knee or at the end of the day – this usually gets better when you rest

  • stiffness (especially after rest – this usually eases after a minute or so as you get moving)

  • crepitus, a creaking, crunching, grinding sensation when you move the joint

  • hard swellings (caused by osteophytes)

  • soft swellings (caused by extra fluid in the joint)


  • Other symptoms can include:

  • your knee giving way because your muscles have become weak or the joint structure is less stable

  • your knee not moving as freely or as far as normal

  • your knees becoming bent and bowed

  • the muscles around your joint looking thin or wasted.

  • It’s unusual, but some people have pain in their knee that wakes them up at night.

What causes it?

Many factors can increase your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee. It’s most common if:

  • you’re in your late 40s or older – this might be because your muscles have become weaker, your body is less able to heal itself or your joints have gradually worn out over tim

  • you’re a woman – osteoarthritis is more common and more severe in women

  • you’re overweight – this increases the chances of developing osteoarthritis and of it becoming gradually worse

  • your parents or siblings have had osteoarthritis

  • you’ve had a knee injury, for example a torn meniscus

  • you've had an operation on your knee, for example a meniscectomy (to remove damaged cartilage) or repairs to your cruciate ligaments

  • you do a hard, repetitive activity or a physically demanding job, for example farming

  • you have another type of joint disease which has damaged your joints, for example gout or rheumatoid arthritis.

How can we help reduce your symptoms?

Acupuncture is effective in a range of painful conditions and can help with the management of knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Every patient will have an initial assessment, followed by a tailored course of treatment. Treatment is usually provided in six consecutive appointments but may be less if the condition responds quickly. However, if we feel that your condition can not be treated with acupuncture, you will be recommended to see your GP or appropriate specialist.

The treatment itself involves fine needles being inserted through the skin and briefly left in position. Sometimes manual or low voltage electrical stimulation is applied to assist the process. The number of needles varies but may be only two or three.