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Acupuncture Helps Treat Knee Pain

Coupled with anti-inflammatory, it eases stiffness of osteoarthritis

FRIDAY, Nov. 19, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Acupuncture, used as a complementary therapy to drugs, is a more effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis than medication alone, says a Spanish study in this week's issue of the British Medical Journal.

The study included 88 people with knee osteoarthritis who received either acupuncture and the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac or dummy acupuncture and the drug. The patients were treated for 12 weeks and their levels of stiffness, pain and physical function were measured by the researchers.

Patients in the acupuncture group had a greater reduction of pain and stiffness and improved functioning and quality of life compared to the patients in the placebo group.

The study authors said future research should include longer observation periods after treatment to evaluate the duration of improvement offered by the combination of acupuncture and drug therapy.

Knee osteoarthritis affects nearly 10 percent of people over age 55, the researchers said.

More information

The American Medical Association has more about knee osteoarthritis.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal, news release, Nov. 18, 2004
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