Knee pain is a condition I regularly see in the clinic and acupuncture is often very effective in reducing the pain and swelling.
Where appropriate I have always advocated deep needling at acupuncture points Knee-Eyes (the two dimples below the knee cap); so it was interesting to see that recently published research from the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion concluded that deep needling at Knee-Eyes had a quicker analgesic effect and better overall effect on knee osteoarthritis than conventional acupuncture.
I often use the points shown in the this picture to treat knee pain of all types, not just osteoarthritic pain. I also add distal points to treat the underling condition of the person being treated. Results are usually good with a lessening in the pain and often an increase in the range of movement. Swelling when present is also treated to relieve pressure on the joint and further reduce pain.
The following is an abstract from “Clinical Observations on Deep Needling of Points Dubi and Medial Xiyan [Knee-Eyes*] for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis”.
“Objective To investigate the clinical efficacy of deep needling of points Dubi(ST35) and medial Xiyan(Ex-LE5) in treating knee osteoarthritis. Method Forty patients were allocated, in order of visits, to two groups, 20 cases each. Th e treatment group received deep needling of and electroacupuncture at points Dubi and medial Xiyan and conventional acupuncture at points Heding(Ex-LE2), Yanglingquan(GB34) and Zusanli(ST36). The control group received electroacupuncture at points Dubi and medial Xiyan and conventional acupuncture at the above other points. Both groups were treated three times a week, two weeks as a course. Knee joint function was assessed using the Lysholm Knee Scoring Scale before and after treatment. Result There were no statistically significant pre-treatment differences in various indices between the two groups(P>0.05), indicating comparability. Various index scores increased in different degrees in both groups after treatment compared with before. There were statistically significant pre-/post-treatment differences in the three(pain, flaccid leg and climbing stairs) index scores in the treatment group(P<0.05) and significant post-treatment differences in two indices flaccid leg and knee pain compared with the control group(P<0.05). Conclusion Deep needling of bilateral points Dubi and Medial Xiyan has a quicker analgesic effect on knee osteoarthritis and its effect is better than that of conventional acupuncture.”
Liu, N. “Clinical Observations on Deep Needling of Points Dubi and Medial Xiyan for the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis.” Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (2013): 857-858.
*Nomenclature varies in translation and from school to school but the points described as Dubi and Medial Xiyan are the points collectively known as Knee-Eyes.