Acupuncture/Massage: Help for Degenerative Knees

How does one know what to do with a bum knee? What’s going on underneath that hard shell?? Is surgery the only answer? In The Journal of Family Practice, the March 2009 issue features an article entitled, “Arthroscopic surgery for knee osteoarthritis? Just say no.” A 2002 study had shown arthroscopic surgery to be of no benefit for moderate to severe osteo-arthritis, but it was so contrary to current practice that it was ignored. Now a recent two-year study showed the same outcome. Only patients with large meniscal tears might benefit from surgery.

What they do recommend is Acetaminophen, NSAIDS, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, physical therapy, regular exercise, and ACUPUNCTURE. (See the reference article: “Effectiveness of Acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial, by B.M. Berman, L. Lao, P. Langenberg, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2004; 141: 901-910.)Inflammation in the knees is one of the most common conditions these days, as all joggers and tennis players can agree. Acupuncture and massage are unique in their ability to break up the excessive adhesions and scarred, fibrous tissue that build up–alone or around an injury. These masses cause a gluing, shortening and thickening effect (called thixotropy) in muscles, tendons and ligaments–which reduces the full range of motion and inhibits healing. Acupuncture and body work help break this up and restore resilience and flexibility to this connective tissue.  This can reverse the build up toward worsening degeneration.Tendons are made up of hair-like tissue strands that become tangled–so they collect ‘debris’-–fluids, crystalized salts–-stuff that disrupts the tendon’s normal function. Often you can feel the little bumps in the normally smooth tissue. When this is eliminated, then the reconditioned tendons can release the pressure on attached muscles.Sore or injured knees respond well to acupuncture. There are two openings under the patella, known as “the eyes of the knees” where needles can be painlessly inserted. These hair-thin steel wires act as antennae for realigning the electrical charge in the acidified, inflamed tissue. Gentle heat can be conducted down the shaft of the needle deep into the joint. This does more than just feel good and alleviate pain; it heals by stimulating  blood and lymph circulation-–to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the injured or degenerated focal point, and then carry away toxins and old blood cells.

The Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Stimulator [PEMF] can work with or without acupuncture to regenerate tissue, remove inflammatory fluids (often noticeable in minutes), and re-establish the EM field around the knee.Sometimes ligaments are torn irreparably and surgery is the magic answer. And happy campers are out playing tennis and golf again. For others, the results are less rosey. Even when successful, a new knee only lasts 10 to 15 years, so often we are able to delay surgery until absolutely necessary with these modalities. And surgery always disrupts at least some of the electrical lines that run through there: the meridians of the stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, liver and gall bladder which all run down the leg.So luckily, many cases can be fixed naturally and for the long run without invasive surgery.  This enables the crucial knee joints to continue to carry us around so that we can keep the rest of the body happy, in shape, and on the move!

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