Exploring the potential of non-invasive complementary therapies for knee osteoarthritis

A Chinese trial examined two different forms of auriculotherapy as non-invasive complementary therapies for elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis. It found that both laser auriculotherapy and magneto-auriculotherapy showed potential as individual therapies, with their effectiveness increasing if taken together.

This trial was funded by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Its results were published in the scientific journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Auriculotherapy is a therapeutic method of stimulating points on the auricle – the part of the ear that extends outside of the head – to treat symptoms of diseases. It is also known as ear acupuncture.
  • Participants in the trial were knee osteoarthritis patients. They were divided into four groups that received either a placebo treatment, laser auriculotherapy, magneto-auriculotherapy, or both forms of auriculotherapy. Forty-three participants finished the six-week-long trial and post-assessment period.
  • Several assessments were performed to evaluate pain, the time it took for a participant to get up and go, knee flexion, and knee extension. Other tests analyzed differences between different groups and between participants in the same group.
  • Initial results for the four groups did not show major differences between the baseline and post-therapy values of each group. However, four out of the six main parameters showed significant differences for patients within the same group who received magneto-auriculotherapy, laser auriculotherapy, or both.
  • Participants who received both magneto-auriculotherapy and laser auriculotherapy demonstrated higher relative differences in pain rating and the timed-up-and-go test when compared to the other groups. This suggested both methods have good synergy.

The researchers concluded that both forms of auriculotherapy should be tested further in a larger trial as a viable therapeutic approach to treating osteoarthritis.

For the full study, you can read it at this link.

If you want more articles about non-invasive therapies for osteoarthritis, visit ChineseMedicine.news.

Journal Reference:

Suen LKP, Yeh CH, Yeung SKW. USING AURICULOTHERAPY FOR OSTEOARTHRITIC KNEE AMONG ELDERS: A DOUBLE-BLINDED RANDOMISED FEASIBILITY STUDY. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 29 July 2016;16(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1242-6.

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