Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Gower acupuncture with Tim Wright

Whilst the knee is a simple hinge joint, it is particularly susceptible to traumatic injury as it absorbs energy between the hips and ankle. And the figures back this up… Knee pain is the most com-mon joint disorder and amongst the over 60s it afflicts approximately 10% of the population.

In my own personal top 3 of maladies to treat, knee pain is up there with the best (along with headaches and back pain).

An imbalance or tightness in certain muscles can pull the patella (knee cap) out of alignment causing increased wear on the bursae and menisci resulting in inflammation. Other mechanisms causing inflammation of the knee, associated with ageing, are not yet clearly understood or defined.

Muscular Causes of Knee Pain

There are numerous muscles that can refer pain into the knee. When a muscle gets repetitively over worked or stressed from injury or overload it can develop trigger points. These are taut bands in the muscle that can refer pain into the knee. Top suspects for knee pain include the rectus femoris and vastus medialis (two of the quadriceps muscles) and the adductor group of muscles on the inside of the upper thigh. You’ll know if you’ve got problems with these muscles as pressing certain points on the upper thigh will be tender and may refer pain into the knee.

Neurological Causes of Knee Pain

The tibial, saphenous and peroneal nerves all pass through the knee joint and can cause pain and discomfort. Whereas arthritic pain tends to get better as you get up and move about, neurological pain can be a constant. Damage to sensory nerves is often felt subjectively as weird sensations; tingling, numbness, heat or cold. Damage to motor nerves may result in lack of power of the innervated muscle. This is in contrast to muscular pain which can often be dull, sometimes sharp, but rarely feels “weird”.

Acupuncture for Knee Pain

When treating knee pain with acupuncture it’s important to differentiate what’s causing the pain. Is it, arthritic change of the knee joint? Is it, tight musculature in the thigh creating trigger points? Or is it a compression or damage to one of the nerves that innervates the knee joint?

The great benefit of acupuncture is that it’s an individualised treatment and each patient potentially receives a different treatment. If you’d like to know more, please give me a call on 07764 254881.

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