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Effects of acupuncture on gait in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee


A study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine looked at the effects of acupuncture on gait in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study was carried out by researchers from National Taiwan University and China Medical University.

  • Knee osteoarthritis often results in changes in balance control, joint motion, and loading patterns during gait or walking.
  • Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in pain relief, but its effects on inter-joint load-sharing for body balance have not been studied.
  • The researchers assessed the immediate effects of acupuncture on the inter-joint and inter-limb load-sharing in patients with knee osteoarthritis during level walking in terms of the total support moment and the contribution of individual joints to the total support moment.
  • They analyzed gait on 15 healthy control and on 15 individuals with mild to moderate bilateral medial knee osteoarthritis.
  • The results showed that participants with bilateral knee osteoarthritis who received acupuncture treatment experienced a significant increase in speed and were able to resist greater and closer-to-normal knee flexion moments.
  • In addition, they altered the inter-joint sharing of the support moments with increased knee contributions, but reduced hip contributions to the sagittal support moment during single-limb support.
  • They also exhibited an asymmetric inter-limb load-sharing like the normal controls, with increased sharing of the time integral of both the sagittal and frontal whole-body support moment by the leading limb during double-limb support.

In conclusion, these results suggested that acupuncture treatment can lead to immediate changes in gait among people with knee osteoarthritis.

To read more studies on acupuncture, visit ChineseMedicine.news.

Journal Reference:

Liu YH, Wei IP, Wang TM, Lu TW, Lin JG. IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT ON INTRA- AND INTER-LIMB CONTRIBUTIONS TO BODY SUPPORT DURING GAIT IN PATIENTS WITH BILATERAL MEDIAL KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 6 January 2017; 45(1): 23-35. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X17500033



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