"Acupuncture provides pain relief and improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee and serves as an effective complement to standard care." The study, one of the largest and longest on record, reported that participants receiving acupuncture had 40 percent improvement in function and a 40 percent decrease in pain.
The study, conducted by rheumatologists and acupuncturists, included 570 patients, aged 50 and over, with osteoarthritis of the knee. Study participants either received acupuncture, the treatment equivalent of a placebo, or a self help treatment program (the control group).
"For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size, and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee," said Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. "These results also indicate that acupuncture can serve as an effective addition to a standard regimen of care and improve quality of life for knee osteoarthritis sufferers.