Acupuncture and You: Ouch Those Aching Knees! by Heather Shoup, M.S., L.Ac.

Heather ShoupYoung or Old, active or sedentary, thin or overweight, anyone can suffer from knee pain.  The knee is the largest joint in the body. It consists of large bones coming together with ligaments. Muscles feeding into it with tendons and cartilage for shock absorption.  It aids us in walking, bending, standing, and helps us bear our weight.  The knee is a complex joint that therefore is prone to injury and illness, no matter what your circumstance.

Knee pain is a common problem, especially during the warmer months when we tend to be more active. Knee pain can be caused by many factors and each case can be very different with one another.  Over-use or over working of the leg muscles, especially the quadriceps muscles, can lead to knee pain, when the muscles are over-used they can tighten up causing the tendons to pull at the knee joint. This can cause inflammation.  Tendon and or ligament damage can also cause knee pain. This is particularly common in athletes.  Arthritic changes of the joint can also cause knee pain, changes in the structure of the bone within the joint can cause pain.

Because the knees bear our weight it is a joint we are likely to notice problems fairly quickly.

Acupuncture works with your body’s own energy source, or Qi. Because of this we can treat the knee pain no matter what the cause. During a treatment, the acupuncturist will examine the knees and determine where the pain is coming from and what the treatment plan will be. In general patients can see results in 4-5 weekly sessions. Small needles are placed into various points on the body to support the bodies underlying imbalances and alleviate current symptoms.  Needles will often be placed around the knees and in the muscles that feed into the knee.  Electro stimulation form of acupuncture where mild electrical current is applied to the needles, is often part of the treatment unless contraindicated.  The needles are retained for 20-30 minutes before being removed.

Since knee pain is so common, it is also very common to see amazing and quick results. So, no matter what the demographic, acupuncture can help.

Missed last month’s column? Read it now:

July Acupuncture and You: Summer fun doesn’t have to be a Pain in the Back, By Heather Shoup, M.S., L.Ac.
June Acupuncture and You: How Acupuncture can Improve Your Health, by Heather Shoup, M.S., L.Ac.