In a small randomized Controlled clinical trial, 50 patients who had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomized into an acupuncture group and a physiotherapy group. The acupuncture group received electroacupuncture once every other day for 4 weeks, while the physiotherapy group received treatment 5 times per week for 4 weeks.
Physicians found that the acupuncture group had significantly lower pain, stiffness and physical function scores than the physiotherapy group by the end of the trial, as well as, compared to the acupuncture group’s baseline.
Imaging of the patient’s knees taken before and after the trial showed that electroacupuncture was able to promote cartilage repair, whereas physiotherapy did not.
Yan Zhang, Fei Bao, Yan Wang, and Zhihong Wu. Influence of acupuncture in treatment of knee osteoarthritis and cartilage repairing. Am J Transl Res. 2016; 8(9): 3995–4002. Published online 2016 Sep 15.