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Self Acupressure in Knee Osteoarthritis

A clinical trial has shown that self-administered acupressure (SAA) is effective in relieving knee osteoarthritis (KOA) patients.

A randomized clinical trial of 314 adults (> age 50 yrs) with (probable) KOA were 2 training sessions for SAA (along with a brief knee health education (KHE) session), in which KOA self administered acupressure (about the knee) twice daily for 12 weeks. The control group (KHE only) received only education.  The primary outcome was knee OA pain score after 12 weeks. Other outcomes included WOMAC, Short Form 6 Dimensions (SF-6D), Timed Up and Go, and Fast Gait Speed tests.

A total of 314 participants (mean 62.7 yrs. and knee pain duration of 7.3 years) were randomized and treated.  At the end of 12 weeks, SAA had greater reduction in pain score (mean difference [MD], −0.54 points; 95% CI, −0.97 to −0.10 points; P = .02) (vs. education only group) and higher enhancement in SF-6D utility scores, with no significant differences in other secondary outcomes.

The Hong Kong study was done in patients who were not obese (mean BMI 23), with 40-48% previously treated with western medicine (40-48%), physiotherapy (36-40%) or Chinese medicine (23-24%) and painkillers (13-14%). Baseline pain levels were ~5/10 using a numeric scale.

In this short term trial of adults with probable knee OA, self administered acupressure appears to be cost-effective and capable of improving pain scores, more so than just education only. 


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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject